Shortly after the Super Bowl, projections for the NFL's compensatory draft pick awards began to surface. Compensatory selections are awarded to teams that lost players in free agency the previous year and did not sign outside free agents of commensurate value. As the Packers allowed Greg Jennings and Erik Walden to walk for big paydays elsewhere, some projections had them receiving as much as a third and sixth round pick.
Back then, we cautioned that because of the convoluted nature of the compensatory system, no projection can be truly dependable.
Before anyone gets too excited, remember that these projections are inexact, especially when it comes to third-round picks. As Kempski explains, "[t]hird round picks are fairly rare, therefore the cut-off point for them is not easily decipherable. There is a possibility Green Bay's comp pick for losing Greg Jennings will be a 4th rounder.
As it turns out, our concern over the projections was justified, albeit not for the reasons we expected. As the NFL revealed today, the Packers were awarded compensatory picks in the third and fifth round.
The #Packers' two compensatory picks are Nos. 98 (third) and 176th (fifth).— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) March 24, 2014
Compensatory picks are always placed at the end of their respective round, somewhat like the "sandwich" picks in Major League Baseball's draft. Unlike normal draft picks, compensatory selections cannot be traded to another team.
Packers GM Ted Thompson has been very successful with compensatory picks in the past, finding Josh Sitton, Mike Daniels, Davon House, and Josh Boyd. With the 2014 draft class considered one of the deepest in recent years, holding extra picks in the heart of the draft should only serve to help Thompson find valuable pieces for his football team.