On Tuesday evening, the National Football League announced the allocation of compensatory picks, extra draft picks given to teams who lost significant value in free agency the previous year. The exact formula used to calculate pick allocation is not known, but prior estimates are generally accurate. The Ravens lost significant free agents in C.J. Mosley, John Brown, Za’Darius Smith, and Terrell Suggs, but are only getting two compensatory picks. That’s because the NFL determined the loss of Smith is balanced out by Earl Thomas, and the loss of Suggs is balanced out by Mark Ingram. Therefore, the Ravens only receive two picks, a third-rounder (106 overall) and a fourth-rounder (143 overall). The Ravens now have nine total draft picks for this April.
The compensatory pick system does not factor draft additions into the formula, so as long as the Ravens draft well to replace lost free agents, they will continue to gain extra draft capital while improving the team. Taking advantage of this system has been Baltimore’s strategy for a very long time. The system was introduced by the NFL in 1994, before the Baltimore Ravens even existed. Today, the Ravens lead the league in total compensatory picks accumulated since 1994 with 52. That’s nine more picks than the closest teams behind the Ravens, the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots.
Compensatory picks were given trade value a few years ago. Before the change, the NFL prohibited these picks from being traded. The value of compensatory picks has increased since the introduction of this rule, and the Ravens have been able to capitalize on their padded value. These compensatory picks are the first ones generated by Eric DeCosta, and it is safe to assume that Ozzie Newsome’s former understudy will continue the strategy moving forward.
Here is the current Ravens draft pick list:
- Round 1: 28
- Round 2: 60
- Round 3: 92
- Round 3: 106 (Compensatory)
- Round 4: 129 (Trade from New England)
- Round 4: 134
- Round 4: 143 (Compensatory)
- Round 5: 171 (Trade from Minnesota)
- Round 7: 225 (Trade from New York Jets)