The NFL released its list of compensatory picks for the 2007 NFL Draft. Those picks, based upon the players each team lost, and the players they were able to sign, were doled out judiciously on Monday at the NFL Owner's meetings in Phoenix. The Patriots, having lost more players than any other team awarded compensation, netted four extra draft picks for the 2007 NFL Draft.
After trading away two draft picks (A second round and a seventh round) to the Miami Dolphins for the rights to wide receiver Wes Welker earlier this month, the Patriots were down to just six selections in the 2007 NFL Draft. Not including the compensatory picks, New England picks 24th and 28th in the first round; 28th in the third round; 28th in the fourth round; 6th in the sixth round (Arizona); and 28th in the sixth round.
New England will have the following selections in the 2007 NFL Draft:
1st round 24th (Seahawks - Deion Branch trade)
1st round 28th
3rd round 28th
4th round 28th
5th round 34th (Compensatory - 171st overall)
6th round 6th (Cardinals - Brandon Gorin trade)
6th round 28th
6th round 34th (Compensatory - 208th overall)
6th round 35th (Compensatory - 209th overall)
7th round 37th (Compensatory - 247th overall)
The Patriots were awarded compensatory picks for losing seven players while only signing one free agent. New England lost T, Tom Ashworth (Seahawks); LB, Matt Chatham (Jets); WR, Andre Davis (Bills); WR, Tim Dwight (Jets); TE, Christian Fauria (Redskins); WR, David Givens (Titans); K, Adam Vinatieri (Colts). In return, New England signed WR, Reche Caldwell (Chargers).
The 32 compensatory choices announced Monday will supplement the 223 choices in the seven rounds of the draft (April 28-29). The compensatory picks are positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the free agents lost.
Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The NFL Management council developed the formula.
Baltimore and New England each received the maximum of four compensatory picks. The Indianapolis Colts received three. New England has received 19 out of the 427 total compensatory picks awarded since 1994.
A quick look a the Patriots Compensatory pick awards reveals that New England lost more players (seven) than any other team in the league, which resulted in their being awarded the most compensatory picks (4 tied with Ravens). The Colts actually fared better in terms of value, although they received one less pick. Their compensatory picks are: 3rd round, 98th overall; 4th round, 136th overall; 5th round, 173rd overall. The Colts lost: RB, Edgerrin James; LB, David Thornton; OL, Larry Tripplett; K, Mike Vanderjagt and the Signed: K, Adam Vinatieri.
The Comparison to Indy is just one illustration of how the value in free agents lost can be worth more than the volume of free agents lost. Even though the Colts lost 3 less players, each player was a significant participant on their other team. The Patriots had two of their seven as full time starters and impact players (Givens - -until he was hurt and Vinatieri). The others were role players on their other teams.
Last year the Patriots used compensatory picks in the sixth round to select OL Dan Stevenson and DL, Le Kevin Smith. Stevenson was released prior to the start of the regular season, while Smith was inactive until the final three games of the season where he recorded just one assisted tackle over those three games.
With the four additional picks, New England is back to having 10 picks in the NFL Draft for the second season in a row.