Last month the NFL released the list of teams which will get compensatory draft picks. This is earlier than usual, but hey, that’s okay, it just gives us more time to wrap our heads around who’s who and what’s what. Here’s my take on the Green Bay’s recent comp pick history, and what we can expect from them in 2017:
Green Bay Packers Compensatory Draft Picks in 2017
New for 2017
When free agency debuted in the early 90s, the league also instituted so-called compensatory draft picks. The league hasn’t said how the formula works, but we can guess. Comp picks are awarded to teams who have lost more, or better, free agents than they’ve acquired. In other words, the league hands them out to teams who suffered a monetary loss in free agency the year before. This year, the NFL has awarded 32 compensatory draft picks distributed over 16 teams. In previous years, compensatory picks had to be used by the team it was allotted to. This year, for the first time, the compensatory picks can be traded.
The Packers in 2017
For the eight year in a row, the Packers will have a compensatory draft pick, an additional fifth round pick. He will be the 39th pick of the fifth round, and the Pack’s 38th compensatory pick since 1994. This year’s comp pick is meant to compensate for cornerback Casey Hayward’s move to San Diego last year. Scott Tolzien apparently did not rank high enough among free agents for his move from Green Bay to Indianapolis to count in the compensatory formula. I.e. the Packers received this compensatory draft pick on Hayward’s exit alone. So, all in all, Green Bay has 8 selections in the 2017 draft. One might add that these things can change, and even more so with this new comp pick trade rule. It actually makes the comp picks even more valuable than previously.
What About the Past?
Historically, Ted Thompson has done his thing with his compensatory draft picks. Some of the players who turned out to be the most valuable to the Packers were acquired as compensatory picks. So, no pressure guys, but if you want to impress me, you’d have to be, well, really impressive. And of course, you all live to impress me (and maybe Ted Thompson, just a little). Whoever Thompson picks would be expected to perform like a Josh Sitton or a Mike Daniels. As Packers fans, of course, we’re spoiled that way. With some frequency, Thompson’s past comp picks have turned out to be superstars. They’ve become the players who have more than pulled their weight.
Case in Point: Josh Sitton
Josh Sitton was Thompson’s compensatory draft pick in 2008. Let’s not forget that Sitton wasn’t just picked for the Pro Bowl three times while he was with the Packers. He was also selected to be the NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year by the NFL Alumni Association, just two years after the Packers drafted him. Now with The Chicago Bears, he was picked for his fourth Pro Bowl appearance this year. And while I realize that many Packers fans still have hurt feelings over Brett Favre going to Minnesota, this Cheesehead is just as heartbroken over Sitton going to the Dark Side as y’all were over Favre going to the Purple Side. Either way, as a Packer, he did an outstanding job for us. Despite discussions about how Thompson selects his draft picks, he did a good thing when he chose Sitton.
Case in Point: Mike Daniels
Sometimes you have to take a gamble, and with Sitton, we won.We also won with Mike Daniels. Daniels was picked up as a compensatory pick in the fourth round out of Iowa in the 2012 draft. With the Packers, he seemed to just sink into a nicely made-to-fit-just-for-him mold. At six feet, and just short of the 300 lbs. mark, he’s become if not the best, then at least one of the best, of Dom Caper’s 3-4 defense players. Other players obviously consider him one of the best players in the league as a whole, which earned him a spot on the top 100 list.
And Why is This Important?
The trick this year, again, is that the comp picks can be traded. This new chess move thing may mean that Thompson chooses to trade up at some point during the draft weekend.
So, again, no pressure, kids. If you want to play for the Packers, you just have to be the next Richard Rogers (2014) or Blake Martinez (2016). In short, be outstanding. Be a Packer.