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Packers receive four compensatory picks for 2018 NFL Draft, but picks lower than projected

The Packers should now be up to 12 total picks in the coming draft.

NFL: Preseason-Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s official — the Green Bay Packers have now added to their haul of selections for Brian Gutekunst’s first NFL Draft as general manager.

The NFL announced the compensatory picks for the 2018 NFL Draft, awarded for free agent transactions during the 2017 offseason. The Packers added four picks, the maximum possible, giving them a likely total of 12. That comes from the team’s original seven picks, the four comp picks, and one additional seventh-round choice sent over from the Buffalo Bills in a 2016 trade for linebacker Lerentee McCray. While the league has not yet confirmed that the conditions of that trade were met, McCray spent the entire 2016 season on the Bills’ roster, making it likely that the pick indeed will change hands.

The compensatory picks, however, are lower than unofficial projections from had indicated. The Packers have received a fourth-round pick, two fifth-round picks, and a sixth-round pick. Although the picks are not as high as expected — OTC’s projections indicated a third-rounder and three fifth-round picks — this still gives the Packers significant additional draft capital should they elect to move up in the draft, as compensatory picks can be traded. Prior to the 2017 draft, those picks were ineligible to be traded.

Picks are awarded based on the signing of unrestricted free agents from the previous year. The formula, which has never been made public, appears to take average annual salary into account as the primary driver of value. Players signed and lost in the free agency period cancel out, so teams who lose more players than they take in (like the Packers) receive picks accordingly. There are a maximum of 32 total picks awarded, and no single team can receive more than four.

Based on the cancellation rule, each pick can be assigned to a specific lost free agent. The fourth-round pick corresponds to T.J. Lang signing with the Detroit Lions, while the fifth-rounders count for Micah Hyde (Bills) and JC Tretter (Browns), and Jared Cook (Raiders) accounts for the sixth-round pick. Here is the full list of picks as we now know them:

Packers 2018 Draft Picks

Round Pick Overall Notes
Round Pick Overall Notes
1 14 14
2 13 45
3 12 76
4 1 101 from CLE (Randall/Kizer)
4 33 133 Compensatory
5 1 138 from CLE (Randall/Kizer)
5 35 172 Compensatory
5 37 174 Compensatory
6 12 186
6 33 207 Compensatory
7 14 232
7 21 239 from BUF for Lerentee McCray

* Note: the Bills traded away a pair of 7th-round picks for 2018, one to the Packers and one to the Panthers as part of the Kelvin Benjamin trade. However, they acquired the Chargers’ 7th-rounder as compensation for QB Cardale Jones, and that pick is reportedly the one that was sent to Carolina, with their natural 7th-rounder going to Green Bay provided that the conditions of the McCray trade were satisfied.