NFL Draft: Rising Value of This Year’s Compensatory Picks

  • The 2020 NFL Draft rolls on with compensatory picks starting in Round 3
  • The New England Patriots lead all teams with four compensatory picks

LAS VEGAS – As the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is now in the books, teams prepare themselves for the remaining six rounds of player selection that await them over the next two days.

Drafting in the first round is comparatively easy. The best players at the top of the draft receive the most attention and hype. These high-value players are few and far between, so most teams simply take the best player that comes to them in round 1, position permitting.

Where teams really have to put in the work is in the later rounds, as the next Tom Brady could always be lying in wait. These later rounds give teams the real chance to flex their scouting departments and prove that they know how to find a diamond in the rough.

An interesting facet to these later round picks is the introduction of the compensatory picks. These picks can be hard to understand for the casual fan, but are a simple concept once broken down.

What Are Compensatory Picks?

Compensatory picks are awarded to teams based on the value of lost free agents during the prior season. Basically, there are 32 picks given to teams by the league. A team is given a compensatory pick if they ended up with more compensatory free agents lost than gained in a particular season.

While there are 32 picks given out, not every team receives a comp pick. These picks only occur between Rounds 3 and 7 and are based upon a league formula that takes into account a player’s average salary per year, snap count, and postseason performance.

This is a system that has existed since 1994, created to provide teams some reward to make up for losing an important player to free agency.

The picks for the 2020 season were announced in March with 15 teams receiving comp picks.

The New England Patriots lead all teams with four of these comp picks, including two in the third round (98 and 100). This brings New England’s total picks in this year’s draft to 12.

The Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, and Minnesota Vikings each received three new selections from the league.

With the depth of talent in this year’s draft class, these picks could prove extremely valuable over the next few years. This also gives teams a chance to use these picks to trade down in the Draft and acquire a higher profile player.

Those betting on the NFL Draft could see their bets go either way if this is the case for the right team.

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