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The WSU Cougars and the Supplemental NFL Draft

One Cougar alum plays a prominent role

Timm Rosenbach

Good morning. With Saturday’s incredibly disappointing news regarding Jalen Thompson’s 2019 eligibility, or lack thereof, word quickly followed that Jalen has made himself eligible for the Supplemental NFL Draft. Once my disappointment and frustration waned a bit, I took a look through the history of the event, and realized that I’d completely forgotten about the most famous iteration of them all.

First, one quick question regarding Thompson - How dumbfounded do the folks in WSU’s training and nutrition program have to be? I guarantee you that they preach constantly to the players about not taking over-the-counter, uncleared suplements, and yet the message doesn’t seem to get through to everyone. And to Jalen - what kind of an edge did you think you were gaining by ingesting one of those supplements? Was it worth the risk? Ok, end of old guy rant.

To give you a quick primer on how the Supplemental Draft actually works, scroll down this page. The first Supplemental Draft took place in 1977, with the Seattle Seahawks using a 4th Round selection on somebody named Al Hunter. Hunter would end up playing four seasons, amassing a total of 715 rushing yards. Not exactly memorable.

Now that you’re aware of how it works, let’s talk just a bit about the most famous of them all, the one that took place in 1989. There were two prominent quarterbacks eligible that year, Steve Walsh of the Miami Hurricanes and Timm Rosenbach of your Washington State Cougars. Rosenbach decided to forego his senior season at WSU when Dennis Erickson left for Miami. I think I recall at least a couple articles at the time mentioning that he likely would not have been eligible in 1989 due to academics. Seeing as how he left WSU after four years, still needing 38 credit hours to graduate, there might be something to that.

Rosenbach didn’t declare until after the early entry deadline for the common draft, so he had to wait until July. Along with Walsh and Rosenbach, Alabama running back Bobby Humphrey also had his name in the draft. Coming off a 3-13 season, the Dallas Cowboys took Walsh despite having used the top over all pick on Troy Aikman just a couple months prior. Aside - can you imagine something like this happening in today’s media climate? The HOT TAKE artists would’ve had months of material.

Dallas’ use of that selection meant they would forfeit what would have been the top pick in the 1990 draft, but they were able to parlay Walsh into three picks, including a first rounder, when they traded him to New Orleans after the season. Humphrey started out pretty well in Denver, with two very productive seasons. Things went south after that, and he was out of the NFL after 1991.

Back to Rosenbach. The Cardinals gave up what would have been a high pick in the 1990 draft to pick him. He would go on to have a short and entirely forgettable NFL career, which began with a bit of promise but ended with a slew of injuries and personal problems. After seeing limited action as a rookie, Rosenbach started every game in 1990, throwing for 3,098 yards, 16 touchdowns and 17 (yikes) interceptions. He missed the entire 1991 campaign due to a knee injury suffered in training camp, but came back to open the 1992 season as the Cardinals starter.

In the first game, Rosenbach took a wicked hit and was knocked unconscious. Seeing as how it was 1989 and nobody really knew or cared about head trauma, Rosenbach was back in the lineup the next week (!!!). He took another hard hit in that game, badly injured his shoulder, and would play in just one more game before calling it quits on his career. He tried a comeback with the Saints but that was cut short by a back injury.

The 1989 Supplemental Draft was the first and only time that three teams used first round picks on players, and no team has used a first rounder since the New York Giants took quarterback Dave Brown in 1992. The event has produced far more misses than hits, with guys like Cris Carter and Bernie Kosar being rare exceptions in an ocean of Brian Bosworths, Dave Wilsons and Dan Sileos.

So the hope here is that Jalen Thompson finds himself among the outliers of the Supplemental Draft - someone who goes on to have a standout NFL career.


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This week in Parenting

We landed in Indiana a bit ago to begin our summertime trip to see family in the US. My wife’s parents have a dog, and the boys love playing with her. This is bringing back to the surface a constant source of whining on their part. They’ve been all over me for a couple years now about getting a dog, and I’ve been the lone holdout among the four people in my immediate family. Now don’t get me wrong, I like dogs. More pointedly, I like other people’s dogs.

I enjoy the freedom of not having to worry about what we’re going to do with the dog if we want to go somewhere over night, and I’ve seen firsthand how dogs - through no fault of their own - come to dominate people’s lives with their constant need for care and attention. One last aside - if you’re that person who compares having a dog to having a kid, please stop.

I’m also well aware of the time-honored tradition of a kid begging for a dog, saying he/she will take good care of it, only for mom and/or dad to assume the daily burden of care and feeding when the kid realizes that he/she actually has to put a little effort into caring for said animal.

The first time the topic of getting a dog came up was in 2015, when we were getting ready to move to Tampa. I told them that it was illegal to own a dog in Hillsborough County, which was effective only until they stepped foot into Hillsborough County. Then I decided to succumb to the pressure, telling the oldest that we could get a dog when he turned 10. Well lo and behold, we ended up moving to Germany, which gave me an easy three-year extension since it’s a massive pain in the ass to move a dog back and forth overseas.

So now the clock is ticking once again, as I’m about two years from moving back to the US. For the time being, the boys can love on someone else’s dog, and I don’t have to worry about the ramifications of spending the weekend away from the house.


Best beer I had this week: Our Saturday began at home in Germany and ended 22 hours later in Indiana. Despite the long day, I cracked open my first El Catador Club selection from Cigar City, which a friend of mine has been nice enough to pick up and send to my family members for safe keeping. Going Going Back Back to Tampa Tampa, a collaboration with J Wakefield Brewing, really hit the spot, and I’m sure the other selections that await will not disappoint.

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