One of the rarely discussed factors in the Packers' decision to let Greg Jennings and Erik Walden leave before last season was the compensatory draft picks the team would pick up a year later.
The compensatory system allows for teams to recoup some of their loss in free agency by allotting draft picks at the end of every round after the third. The formula that distributes these selections is closely guarded. However, some publications have developed fairly reliable predictions models.
While this year's compensatory picks have yet to be officially announced, a projection by Philly.com's Jimmy Kempski sees Green Bay receiving an extra third and sixth round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The extra picks could be especially valuable to a Packers team that seeks to rebuild its defense in a single offseason. This year's draft class is believed to be one of the strongest overall in recent memory. Teams with a surplus of picks in the second through fourth round stand to gain the most. Accordingly, the extra third rounder could allow Ted Thompson the flexibility to wait on offensive needs like tight end with his first three picks and still land a highly touted prospect like Iowa's C.J. Fiedorowicz.
The one drawback to compensatory picks is their lack of transferability. Teams cannot trade their compensatory picks under any conditions. Thus, Thompson cannot package his extra third in order to move up in the draft (not that he's likely to do so anyway).
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."
Regardless, if the Packers do indeed receive third and sixth round compensatory picks, it'll further validate his decision to let Greg Jennings and Erik Walden leave last offseason.
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