The NFL Annual Meetings are currently underway and amidst the several proposed rule changes, tweaks and future business talks, the NFL has released the list of compensatory picks for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Compensatory picks are awarded based off of each team’s performance during the free agency period. If a team loses several high level players to free agency and fails to sign free agency players, they can be awarded extra picks in the following draft based on the each player’s free agent level. Picks awarded can range from the third round all the way to the 7th round.
This year, the highest compensatory pick goes to the reigning Super Bowl Champion, the New England Patriots, who will gain the 97th overall pick. The lowest pick of any NFL team goes to the Arizona Cardinals, who were given the 257th overall pick, which lands in the 7th round.
A handful of teams were awarded four compensatory picks in the 2015 draft including the Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. Teams receiving three picks include the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens. The Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers will each receive two picks while the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams will only receive one extra pick.
Being awarded picks in the late days of the NFL draft may seem like small consolation for losing key players to free agency, but there have been some impactful NFL players to be selected using compensatory picks. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a compensatory pick for New England in 2000 going no. 199 overall in the sixth round of the draft. We all know Brady is a lock for the Hall of Fame and is still playing at MVP level after 14 year sin the league.
Brian Dawkins, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles, was a compensatory pick in 1996 and went on to have a Hall of Fame career. Hines Ward was a compensatory pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1998, won two Super Bowls, was named MVP of Super XL and also appears to have a place in the NFL Hall of Fame.