The NFL awarded 13 teams a total of 33 compensatory picks for the 2016 NFL draft with the Seahawks among the biggest winners, earning an extra pick in the third (No. 97 overall), fifth (171) and sixth rounds (215), giving John Schneider nine total selections.
The fifth and sixth round compensatory picks are especially key for the Seahawks as they recoups selections traded away to the Kansas City Chiefs and Detroit Lions last summer for safety Kelcie McCray and Mohammed Seisay respectively. The Seahawks now have at least one pick in each round, with extra selections in the third and seventh frames.
The Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Seahawks and Denver Broncos had one extra third-round pick tacked onto the end of that round as compensation for losses in 2015 free agency. The Lions will pick 95th overall, followed by the Patriots, Seahawks and Broncos at Nos. 96-98. The picks start at No. 95 because the Patriots lost their first-round pick in the Deflategate drama and the Chiefs on Thursday were docked a third-rounder for tampering in free agency with then-Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin. Kansas City is appealing the penalty.
Picks are rewarded by the NFL Management Council using a weighted system striving to equate losses and additions to the roster.
The Seahawks were awarded the picks due to the losses of cornerback Byron Maxwell, guard James Carpenter and outside linebacker Malcolm Smith to the Eagles, NY Jets and Oakland Raiders, respectively. Smith, of course -- the MVP of the Seahawks Super Bowl XLVIII victory -- was himself a 7th round compensatory pick in 2011.
Smith wasn't the only time Schneider and his staff have delivered on draft day with compensatory picks. The Seahawks are hopeful that two of last year's four compensatory picks -- Mark Glowinski and Kristjan Sokoli -- will be competing for playing time along the offensive line, where the club already lost J.R. Sweezy and Alvin Bailey with Russell Okung shopping his services, as well.
Fortunately, the Seahawks have the ammunition to potentially re-stock the shelves along the line of scrimmage. The extra third round pick gives Seattle four selections within the top 100, beginning with No. 26 overall. The deepest positions in the 2016 draft are defensive tackle, offensive tackle and center -- positions the Seahawks will almost certainly tap.
There have been some notable selections with compensatory picks throughout the league, the most famous including Tom Brady (199th overall, Michigan, 2000), Pro Football Hall of Fame guard Larry Allen of the Cowboys (46th overall, Sonoma State, 1994) and former Eagles and Broncos safety Brian Dawkins (61st overall, Clemson, 1996.
Compensatory picks cannot be traded. However, that rule was changed effective next April.