Compensatory picks are awarded at the ends of the third through seventh rounds by a secretive system that weighs free agents a team lost compared to free agents signed, along with salaries, playing time and impact. Last year, the Packers lost running back Ahman Green and tight end David Martin while signing only cornerback Frank Walker, though with Walker's limited role and salary, he might not have factored in the equation.
While late-round draft picks aren't exactly sexy and the odds of landing a standout player are far less than with a first-round selection, the compensatory picks are nothing to scoff at.
Arguably the best quarterback in NFL history, Tom Brady, was taken with a compensatory pick in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. Other noteworthy compensatory picks include likely Hall of Fame offensive lineman Larry Allen, quarterback Derek Anderson, running back Chester Taylor and receiver Marques Colston.
The Packers have had good luck, as well. The Packers nabbed Tyrone Williams with a third-round pick in 1996 and Marco Rivera in the sixth round of that same draft, as well as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck with a sixth-round pick in 1998, cornerback and Scott Wells in the seventh round in 2005. Perhaps someday, Tony Moll (fifth round, 2006) will be thought of the same way.
The Packers had a whopping four compensatory picks in 2003 — the most possible — but struck out miserably with offensive tackle Brennan Curtin, kick returner DeAndrew Rubin, wide receiver Carl Ford and linebacker Steve Josue.
Last season, the Packers selected tight end Clark Harris with a compensatory pick in the seventh round. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw, who helped the Giants with the Super Bowl, also was a seventh-round compensatory pick.
Compensatory picks can't be traded.
Steve Lawrence is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org