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What is A Compensatory Draft Pick in the NFL?: List of Every Compensatory Pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

Snehith Vemuri
|Fri Apr 30 2021

The NFL is well-known for its technical complexity. Around draft weekend, fans are often left wondering what exactly a compensatory draft pick is.

The NFL draft kicked off yesterday in extraordinary fashion. After a year’s gap due to the COVID pandemic, fans returned to draft in Cleveland, ready to boo Roger Goodell every chance they got.

It just felt like the NFL draft again. The big storyline from the 1st round was the Bears trading up to snatch Justin Fields. Chicago maneuvered the move excellently, acquiring the Ohio State signal caller without giving up too much draft capital in return.

Moreover, the Crimson Tide players had a historic night. 6 Alabama players, including Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith, were selected in the first round.

As we move into Day 2 and 3, a new concept is introduced: compensatory draft picks. It may not seem like the most exciting thing ever, but keep in mind that Tom Brady was picked using a compensatory selection.

Also read: “About time we got us a real quarterback.”: Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson is stoked after Bears draft QB Justin Fields.

What is a Compensatory Draft Pick in the NFL?

Before the draft, the league awards teams who have lost better or more compensatory free agents than they have acquired with compensatory picks. The picks are positioned after the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th round of the draft.

The picks are awarded on the basis of the value, decided by salary, playing time, and postseason honors, of the free agents lost. No team will be awarded more than 4 compensatory picks, however they can be traded.

For example, this year the Dallas Cowboys have the most compensatory picks (4) after losing free agents like Byron Jones and Jason Witten.

33 picks were awarded for this reason in 2o21. Additionally, a new rule also awards picks for teams that hired minority coaches and GMs. Including both types, 37 compensatory picks were given out to 17 teams this draft.

List of Compensatory Picks in 2021

Round 3

96. New England Patriots

97. Los Angeles Chargers

98. New Orleans Saints

99. Dallas Cowboys

100. Tennessee Titans

101. Los Angeles Rams

102. San Francisco 49ers

103. Los Angeles Rams

104. Baltimore Ravens

105. New Orleans Saints

Round 4

138. Dallas Cowboys

139. New England Patriots

140. Pittsburgh Steelers

141. Los Angeles Rams

142. Green Bay Packers

143. Minnesota Vikings

144. Kansas City Chiefs

Round 5

177. New England Patriots

178. Green Bay Packers

179. Dallas Cowboys

180. San Francisco 49ers

181. Kansas City Chiefs

182. Atlanta Falcons

183. Atlanta Falcons

184. Baltimore Ravens

Round 6

217. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

218. New Orleans Saints

219. Atlanta Falcons

220. Green Bay Packers

221. Chicago Bears

222. Carolina Panthers

223. Minnesota Vikings

224. Philadelphia Eagles

225. Philadelphia Eagles

226. Carolina Panthers

227. Dallas Cowboys

228. Chicago Bears



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