Historically speaking, the Green Bay Packers are among the NFL’s most frequent recipients of compensatory draft picks. Since Ted Thompson’s tenure as general manager began, the Packers have often allowed mid-level and high-priced internal free agents to sign with other teams while rarely signing external unrestricted free agents who qualify against the NFL’s compensatory draft pick formula. In fact, the Packers have received multiple additional picks in six of the last eight seasons and added at least one pick through this process in all but three of the last 17 drafts, dating back to 2006.
In 2023, it appears that the team should get another batch of compensatory picks as a result of its moves (and non-moves) during the 2022 free agency period. According to Overthecap.com’s Nick Korte, the Packers are likely to receive three more selections in 2023 — one in round five and two in round seven.
The picks are assigned to teams based on a balance of unrestricted free agents signed versus those lost to other teams, with values primarily based on average annual contract value with some additional considerations made for playing time.
According to Korte’s projections, the Packers signed only one outside free agent who will qualify above the cutoff for compensatory pick consideration. That player is defensive tackle Jarran Reed, whose contract value falls in the range of a 6th-round pick. However, Korte’s projections see four departing free agents qualifying, with their values corresponding to the following rounds:
- WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (5th)
- OL Lucas Patrick (6th)
- CB Chandon Sullivan (7th)
- LB Oren Burks (7th)
Because Reed and Patrick both receive a 6th-round value, those two players cancel each other out. The 5th-round selection for Valdes-Scantling is all but assured, as his $10 million per year contract is well clear of any possible cancellation. The two 7th-round picks are a bit tougher to project, however, and they will depend on a few factors, most notably what contract value the NFL will set as the cutoff for consideration.
Both Sullivan and Burks are very close to the bubble as qualifying free agents for the formula. Likewise, new Packers punter Pat O’Donnell is close to the cutoff. However, Korte’s analysis puts the two departing defenders above the bar and O’Donnell as one of the first players below it, meaning that O’Donnell would not cancel out one of the two 7th-round selections. If O’Donnell’s contract in fact ends up over the cutoff — or if either of Sullivan or Burks fall below it — that would eliminate one of those bonus picks.
The NFL will announce the compensatory picks sometime before the start of the 2023 league year, which is scheduled for March 15th.
Looking back one year, the Packers received two compensatory picks in the 2022 NFL Draft: one each in round four and round seven, corresponding to the losses of Corey Linsley and Jamaal Williams, respectively. The team used the fourth-round selection on offensive lineman Zach Tom, who started five games at three different positions in 2022, and selected wide receiver Samori Touré with the seventh-rounder. Meanwhile, Valdes-Scantling yielding a fifth-round pick is an interesting bit of symmetry, as he himself was drafted with a fifth-round compensatory pick in 2018, which the Packers received after losing center JC Tretter in free agency the year before.