Packers are Winners in the Mysterious NFL Compensatory Draft Pick System All Green Bay Packers All the Time
NFL Compensatory Picks for Packers
NFL Hands Out Compensatory Picks for Packers

If Ted Thompson ever allows himself to let out a big grin, he is surely beaming today. The NFL handed out 32 compensatory draft picks to 13 NFL teams today, with the Packers taking in the third best haul behind the Ravens and Steelers.

In addition, both picks received represented the best possible outcome for the Packers. The team was awarded a third round pick (#98 overall) for the Vikings signing Greg Jennings for $9.5M in 2013. Then, they were awarded a fifth round selection (#176 overall) for the Colts overpaying Erik Walden a whopping $4M last year.

While the exact formula used to determine compensatory picks has never officially been revealed, it’s common knowledge that several factors pertaining to the lost player are taken into account; size of contract, playing time received during the season, overall performance and post-season awards.

It’s been highly rumored that size of contract is the most heavily weighted factor, and the picks awarded the Packers would seem to reflect that notion.

The Packers will now have four picks in the top 100, a great position to be in for a draft many are calling perhaps the strongest ever in rounds 2-3.

If you’re interested, here’s the full list of picks awarded today”



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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


32 thoughts on “Packers are Winners in the Mysterious NFL Compensatory Draft Pick System

  1. Sweet. A 3rd for Craig Crennings and a 5th for whats-his-name-he-was-never-good-anyway?

    AND The Vikes get loaded down with a 45 million dollar contract for a 30 year old WR who can’t separate anymore?

    What could be better?

    Silly Vikings. You always have been an embarrassment to your state.

  2. I wish TT would view this as an opportunity to use his other draft picks to trade up. Quality over quantity I always say.

    If we could grab a stellar DT or LB and trade up to get a Safety (if need be that is) that would be fantabulous!

    Regardless, we are always better with Comp Picks than we are without them!

    1. I agree. Seems TT keeps trading down for additional late round picks, only to see them not make team, or not produce much. While TT plays the odds and gets some occasional good value picks (SamShields), I would generally like to see more aggressive work in the rounds 2-4, rather than trading back for added picks in 5-7. Having said that, the trade down for Eddie Lacy for an added pick is certainly smart (though a little risky too).

      I would like to see maybe the 5th round pick used for a trade up, a few positions in rd 1 or rd 2 to go after premium player; for example, to nab a Calvin Pryor.

      How many positions in the first round can be exchanged for a 5th rounder? From #21, what team in front might take a 5th rounder?

      1. He doesn’t have the ammunition to get into the top 10 for a truly elite player. From the top 10 down to about 25 the players are all pretty similar grades. Doesn’t make sense to move up. However considering that the strength of the draft is from the mid 1st into the second round it probably makes more sense to move down and get more picks in the top 2 rounds.

        A 5th rd pick might move the packers from 21 to 18 or 19. Whats the point of wasting that pick to move a couple spots? Makes no sense at all.

        1. Agree that TT does not really have the ammunition to move up significantly. Furthermore, I agree that GB should not move up. Talent is roughly the same from 12 to 25 or so according to most sources and GB would have to give up a lot. There are a lot of trade charts. Using Drafttek’s chart, GB could trade its 1st pick (21) and 3rd pick (85) to move up from #21 to #17, maybe #16. That’s a lot to give up in this draft unless TT is really enamored of a specific player. Also, it is really hard to pick up an additional 2nd round pick. By the chart, GB would have to trade down from 21 into the late 30s or early 40s, and find a team with draft picks that fit.

          There are a couple of teams that have draft picks that fit well (not sure the needs/motivation is there). Cleveland has picks #3, 26, 35, 71, 83, 106, 127, 137, etc. Moving from 21 to 26 might net the 106th pick (early 4th round- here I am thinking Cleveland might be looking for a QB, but teams at 22-25 seem unlikely to take a QB who has fallen); moving from 21 to 35 might net Cleveland’s pick #71 and a 7th. Oakland has the 36th pick: QB might net their pick #67th; Atlanta has #37, might net its #68. Tampa has #38; GB might net its pick #69. If you don’t want to trade back that far, see Cleveland above, or try Carolina which has #28; GB might net its #92. NE has #29; might net its pick #93. SF has #30 and GB might net its pick #77 (difference btw 21 and 30 is 180 points, and pick #77 is worth 205, so this is a bit of a stretch). Just as a note, SF currently has picks 30, 56, 61, 77, 94, 100, and 129. The rich should get richer. Cleveland has 8 in the top 137 picks.

          As a disclaimer, I am not advocating at least here whether to trade up or down or stay pat: I am just playing a bit with the trade chart. It may be that GMs assign more value (higher point) to the 2nd and 3rd round picks than the draft chart since this draft is strong.

        2. It would depend on who is available at 18 or 19. In the case of D Revis a few years back, it certainly would have paid off.

          SCENARIO: The Jets pick at 18 and will almost assuredly take a WR or TE if Ebron is available. If Ebron is available, it might behoove TT to repay the Jets for the Revis trade-around and try to get the 17th pick. Similarly, if a defensive player falls then the Pack might be wise to trade with Miami (19th pick) to beat AZ to the punch at pick 20. Small strategic trade-ups in R1 can yield great value if you are sure of your target. Ask Ron Wolf how he lost Ray Lewis by one pick.In Wolf’s case I believe the story is he tried to trade up but couldn’t find a trading partner. Mysteriously, TT has never used this tactic in R1 or in any round. If he trades up it is usually a good sized jump (more than 10 slots). Over the years I know he lost many a good player a few picks before GB was up to the plate. He prefers to roll the dice than to possibly pay something for nothing. My favorite drafter and draft day wheeler-dealer of all time was Bill Walsh. He traded up and down with equal aplomb. He also made lots of small trades for strategic positioning. He also traded for high future picks. TT has done none of these things. His preferences seem to be – sit pat, then trade down and lastly, trade up a half round or so. Go get your guy I say. Reduce the risk of losing your guy by paying a small premium.

          1. Revis went 2 picks before the Packers chose Harrell. I think it was 14th and I’m convinced that Revis would have been the pick if he was there. However considering how “me” Revis is I don’t think he would have been worth moving up for.

          2. It all goes down to the draft board. TT stays true to his board and only trades when he sees value. Like the 2009 CM3 trade, he had Clay rated as a mid teen pick. So when he fell all the way down to 26, he was willing to give up a ransom of a 2nd and two 3rds to NE, so that he could draft him. I remember, at the time, I was a little upset that TT gave up so much for Clay, but it worked out in the end, so he comes out looking like a genius. If Clay was a bust, then I would have been all “FIRE TED THOMPSOOON” jk.

            1. Actually Thompson had Matthews rated in the top 10-12 players and seriously considered him at #9 where they took Raji. When looking at the trade he used a 2 and 2 3rd’s IIRC to get what he thought was a top tier talent. He had Matthews rated in the same category as Raji and Crabtree.

          1. And so the end result is that you have exactly the same amount of “firepower” to move up in the draft after the compensatory picks are granted as you had before they were granted… no more and no less. If the someone is saying that the Packers don’t have the “ammunition” to move up, compensatory picks aren’t going to help.

            1. I think that is somewhat incorrect. Without a comp pick if you trade your third rounder you wind up with no picks in the 3rd.

              With a third round comp pick, if you trade your regular 3rd round pick you still have a pick (the comp pick) in the 3rd.

              So while you don’t have more to offer the team you are trading with, it does cost you less to offer that.

              Maybe you would consider that more opportunity rather than more ‘firepower,’ but that seems to be a really narrow distinction.

              1. I’m not trying to start a flame war, Ed, but I disagree. A third round pick is a third round pick. Regardless of how that pick came to you – whether it was as compensation or simply by virtue of the fact that you are a team in the NFL – both picks have exactly the same value. Both enable you to select one player at that spot. Neither one gives you more, or less.

                I understand that having more picks is better than having less picks. No one is arguing with that. But what I do argue with is that compensatory picks somehow give you greater freedom to move up. Even if you did not have the compensatory pick, you were still perfectly free to trade away your regular pick.

                I also disagree with the notion that compensatory picks allow you, even ENCOURAGE you, to be more aggressive. People seem to have the idea that because it was a compensatory pick, now you are playing with “house money.” But you’re not. The third round compensatory pick is just as valuable to you as a regular third round pick. Or to use your words, it most certainly does NOT “cost you less” to move up just because it was a compensatory pick. The cost is exactly the same.

                I don’t think either one of us would agree with someone who said, “Since I have two first round picks, I’m more free to use one of them carelessly.”

              2. Marpag, I understand what you are saying and all I’ll add is that your opinion is reasonable, we just happen to disagree.

                So let’s leave it at that and keep enjoying the other discussions on this list.

        1. Most of the Draft Industrial Complex is saying that the 2014 draft is one in which quantity is preferred. They say the strength of the draft is in its depth.

          As such, I’d rather TT trades out of day 1 to pick up a couple of day 2 picks. With 5 picks in rounds 2 & 3, TT could really address some areas of concern on the roster. That plays into the roster concerns and the strength of the draft.

          The Packers need a little help in a lot of areas, not a lot of help in few areas, IMO.

  3. At first I thought the picks given to the a Ravens and a Jets were generous (does Ed Reed merit compensatory picks at this stage in his career? LaRon Landry?).

    Then I saw we got a fifth for Walden and I feel like the Jets and Ravens got shafted. Not to mention the Texans for picking up Reed. . . .

  4. A 5th for Walden? Bwahahaha! And a 3rd for Jenny(ings) Craig? Bwahahaha! Sweet! Come on Ted, let’s hit big in this draft, your legacy and the Packers near future depends on it.

      1. It would seem that way bc they didn’t try to retain Dietrich. However, some insurance would be nice and Martin played guard at USC his first 2 years.

        1. Seems like this insurance will be to move Lang to C and Barclay to RG.

          But I agree that I wouldn’t mind seeing a actual ‘Interior lineman’ picked in the draft. Seems like this would be a good year to do it.

  5. As deep as this draft is this year, I just don’t see TT trading up into the top 10-15. I *could* however, see him maybe moving things around and working his way up into the 2nd with 2 or 3 picks to grab players he really wants. He doesn’t care when people say he “reached” for a player.
    This is going to be a really good draft.

  6. Everybody is talking about moving up in the 1st or 2nd, but what might be better (and more realistic is to combine our 4th and 5th fro a better 4th an (say) a 7th.

    The ‘meat of any draft is in the top 100 to 110 picks — how about getting *5* swings at that talent pool?

    Not that I’m against doing a trade down, too and getting *6* players in that zone …

  7. Erik “always out of position” Walden and Greg “my sister knows best” Jennings, Thank you and the assanine teams that settled for you…

    1. Funny how TT is revered for his draft picks yet when the same players leave the Packers the general populace (aka fans) shows great disdain for same players. I find Jennings comments to be obnoxious and borderline offensive but I also know he was one of TT’s 5 best draft picks as Packers GM.

  8. The Pack’s R7 pick is now R8. R6 is now R7 etc. There are two sides to the comp picks. The team with no compensatory picks obviously suffers the most. The gain by those receiving suck picks is lessened by the cheapening of their original picks from R4 onward.

  9. This is one of the reasons why I don’t understand all the criticism of TT. For 2 players who would have been irrelevant on the Packers in 2013, TT has picked up 2 solid draft picks plus has saved the team over $40 million on Jennings and Walden who are marginal players at best. Now the issue becomes, what does he do with these 2 picks. Yes, the draft is a crap shoot, as we all know, but hopefully we come up with 2 players out of these picks who will help the Packers win over the next 3 – 5 seasons. Only time will tell, but for now this is a job well done by TT and deserves some credit for it. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since ’61

  10. If ever there was a time for tt and his draft pick hording ways, it might be this one. TT’s MO could serve the pack well this year if the pundits are correct. I’ve always felt tt does as well as anyone in the draft. He’s had his misses, but don’t they all. He’s had more the his share of hits. He rarely drafts that high either.

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