In losing TE Matt Spaeth, LB Keyaron Fox and DE Nick Eason to free agency last year, the Steelers acquired three additional seventh round picks - Nos. 240, 246 and 248 overall of the draft. The additional selections bring the Steelers' haul to 10 overall - four of those in the seventh round.
Compensatory picks are awarded to teams based on a formula factoring in "salary, playing time and post-season honors" of players they lost in free agency.
All three players the Steelers lost were role-fillers. Spaeth was replaced by David Johnson, who, incidentally, was a seventh-round pick in 2009. Spaeth went to Chicago, Eason went to Arizona and Fox went to Washington. Only Eason played all 16 games for his club last year.
The Steelers had 10 draft picks in 2010, after having seven last season.
While compensatory picks cannot be traded, having 10 selections does give the Steelers a little bit of weight, should they pursue a draft day trade. The last time the Steelers made a draft day transaction was in 2010, when they dealt WR Santonio Holmes for the Jets 5th round selection (No. 155). In turn, the Steelers dealt that pick to Arizona for CB Bryant McFadden and a sixth round pick (No. 195). They selected WR Antonio Brown with that pick, who bested Holmes in 2011 with 69 receptions to Holmes' 51. Brown also had 1,108 yards receiving to Holmes' 654.
The Steelers did not have a compensatory pick in 2011, but selected CB Crezdon Butler and LB Stevenson Sylvester with the two 5th round selections they received in 2010. Butler has since been released, and signed with Arizona. They selected Ohio State DE Doug Worthington with a 7th round compensatory pick in 2010 as well. Worthington did not make the team. Worthington spent time in 2010 on the practice squads of the Steelers and Buccaneers, where he was promoted, albeit briefly, to the team's 53-man roster. Tampa Bay released him not long into training camp in 2011, and he was picked up by Washington, who eventually placed him on their practice squad. He was promoted to the team's 53-man roster toward the end of the 2011 season, where he remains today.