In recent decades, the Green Bay Packers have benefited greatly from the NFL’s compensatory draft pick process. As minor players in free agency under general manager Ted Thompson — if they dabbled in acquiring outside free agents at all — the green and gold acquired numerous high draft picks through this process, converting many of them into significant contributors for the team.
As a brief reminder, compensatory picks are defined based on the unrestricted free agent transactions of the previous year. Therefore, 2020’s picks are dependent on the net value of free agents gained and lost during the 2019 offseason.
Brian Gutekunst’s arrival as general manager in 2018 has changed this approach a fair amount from Thompson’s, however, as he has been far more willing to sign unrestricted free agents than his predecessor. In 2018, the Packers had few qualifying UFAs who left the team, and Gutekunst signed tight end Jimmy Graham and cornerback Tramon Williams to contracts, ensuring that the team received no additional draft picks in 2019. Now, the same is officially the case for 2020, as the NFL announced the list of picks on Tuesday evening.
Getting no compensatory picks this year was assumed for the Packers, of course, as the team made four high-profile signings when free agency began. The additions of outside linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, safety Adrian Amos, and offensive lineman Billy Turner far outweighed the losses of the likes of Clay Matthews, Randall Cobb, Bashaud Breeland, and Jake Ryan.
One team received the maximum of four compensatory picks this year: the New England Patriots (round 3 x 2, round 6 x 2). The league awarded 10 total third-round picks, with the other eight going to the Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, l Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, and Baltimore Ravens.
In addition to their own picks, the Packers do have a few additional day-three draft selections, though, all acquired through trades over the past year or so. Green Bay owns the following additional picks:
- Las Vegas Raiders’ 6th-round pick, acquired for WR Trevor Davis
- Tennessee Titans’ 6th-round pick, acquired for OLB Reggie Gilbert
- Baltimore Ravens’ 7th-round pick, acquired for RB Ty Montgomery
The Packers also have the right to swap 7th-round picks with the Cleveland Browns, which they acquired in exchange for OL Justin McCray at the cut-down deadline in 2019.
With the compensatory picks now in place, the draft order has fully taken shape. Tune in for the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday, April 23rd from Las Vegas.