Seahawks awarded 4 compensatory draft picks

The Seahawks won big on "Compensatory Day" as the NFL awarded clubs extra draft picks for the free agent losses accrued last year. With double-digit draft picks to play with, the Seahawks will have plenty of flexibility in the 2015 draft.

John Schneider and his scouting staff will now have 11 draft picks at their disposal in the 2015 NFL Draft, as the Seahawks were awarded four extra picks due to losses last year in free agency.

The specific picks that Seattle gained were a fourth rounder (No. 134 overall), a fifth rounder (No. 170) and two sixths (No. 209 and 214).

The New England Patriots received the first of the compensatory picks awarded with No. 97 overall. The Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals were also awarded third round picks.

The Seahawks have enjoyed success with compensatory picks in the past. The club's greatest success with a former compensatory pick would have to be Matt Hasselbeck, who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 187th overall pick in 1998 and ultimately traded to Seattle, where he helped guide the Seahawks to its first NFC Championship and Super Bowl berth.

Super Bowl XLIX MVP Malcolm Smith was drafted 242nd overall in 2011 with a compensatory seventh round pick. Another linebacker was probably Seattle's greatest compensatory success story as the club nabbed Leroy Hill out of Clemson with the No. 98 overall pick in 2005. That selection was the only time in Seahawks history in which the club had been awarded a third round pick.

Compensatory selections are awarded to teams whose free-agent losses a year earlier outweigh the free-agent additions made in the same off-season. The greater the net loss (as determined by the league), the more (or higher quality) compensatory picks a team is given.

Compensatory picks are simply tacked on to the end of each normal 32-selection round of the NFL draft. The picks themselves cannot be traded. The maximum number of picks a team can receive is four and the earliest the pick can come is the third round.

Seattle's primary free agent losses a year ago were wide receiver Golden Tate, cornerback Brandon Browner, right tackle Breno Giacomini and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald.

The NFL began awarding clubs compensatory picks in 1994 and initially granted second round picks, on occasion. That's where the Dallas Cowboys nabbed Hall of Famer Larry Allen with the 46th overall selection 21 years ago.

Allen might be the only current Hall of Famer but Tom Brady (No. 199 overall, 2000), Brian Dawkins (No. 61, 1996) and Hines Ward (No. 92, 1998) could join him some day. Among other highlights are S Pat Tillman (No. 226, 1998), OLB Mike Vrabel (No. 91, 1997) and DT La'Roi Glover (No. 166, 1996). The most recent big names selected with compensatory picks were New Orleans Saints' wideout Marques Colston (No. 252 overall, 2006) and Packers' All-Pro guard Josh Sitton (No. 135 overall, 2008).

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