Syracuse Football: Shyheim Cullen gets 2nd lease on his football life

Former Syracuse football linebacker Shyheim Cullen has received a 2nd lease on his football life. Here are all the details and what’s next for him.

A lot of Syracuse football fans were hoping for a Shyheim Cullen return to the Orange in 2019. Sadly that never materialized.

Shyheim was trying to figure out the off the field issues (academics) and eventually was suspended from Syracuse for the spring semester. Eventually, he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA and that was the final nail in the coffin.

Which means the 22-year old’s best option to get professional opportunities was the NFL Supplemental Draft.

Shyheim had to file a petition, which is reviewed on a case-by-case basis and Stephen Bailey of was first to report that Cullen was accepted into the draft pool.

The Supplemental Draft doesn’t have any of the analysts, bright lights, or grandeur of the NFL Draft, but at its roots, it performs the same function: provides opportunities.

Although it’s important to note the other distinct differences between the two drafts. In the NFL Draft, if a team is on the clock and they want you, they simply send in the card and announce it at the podium.

Here’s how the Supplemental NFL Draft works via Scott Allen of Mental Floss:

“The league’s 32 teams are divided into three groups based on their performance during the previous season. Teams that won six or fewer games form one group, non-playoff teams that won more than six games form a second group, and playoff teams form a third group. A lottery determines the draft order within each group and teams with worse records have a greater chance of drawing a higher pick. For example, the team with the worst record last season, Arizona, has the best chance to win the first pick in the supplemental draft and is guaranteed to pick no lower than 13th, as there were 13 teams with six or fewer wins last season.

Unlike the regular draft, during which teams announce their picks, teams submit blind bids to the NFL commissioner indicating what players they are interested in drafting in the supplemental draft. In addition, a team must indicate what round in the draft it would like to select a given player. The team that submits the highest bid is awarded the rights to the player and forfeits its pick in that round in the following season’s regular draft. If two teams submit a bid for the same player in the same round, the team with the higher pick in that round, as determined by the semi-lottery system described above, is awarded the player.”

Around 10 NFL teams have expressed initial interest, per the Stephen Bailey report. Looking at some of the measurables, you can see why teams are interested.

“The 22-year-old’s reported 39-inch vertical, 4.51 40 time, and 23 reps on the bench press would have ranked third, fifth and 10th, respectively, among linebackers at this year’s combine”, per CBS Sports.

The Supplemental Draft has produced some real star talent in history:

  • Cris Carter (fourth round selection, supplemental draft)
    • While Cris experienced some off the field turbulence during his career he still eventually became a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
  • Steve Walsh (first-round selection, supplemental draft)
    • His collegiate career at Miami was uber impressive including a National Championship in 1987.
  • Dave Brown (first-round selection, supplemental draft)
    • Hey look Daniel Jones isn’t the only Duke quarterback the New York Giants have taken with a first round pick in team history!
  • Rob Moore (first-round pick, supplemental draft)
    • This name should be very familiar to Syracuse football fans. After a stellar year on the hill, he’d go on to have an exceptional 11-year professional career in the pros.

The selection/bidding process takes place on July 10. We’ll see if Shyheim Cullen is able to capitalize on his second lease on his football life. If he goes unselected, NFL teams will be able to immediately sign him to a UDFA deal ahead of training camp at the end of July.