With the 2016-2017 NFL season coming into it’s final weeks, preparations for next season have already begun. All but 8 teams have their 2017 NFL Draft order decided, and projections have begun for the compensatory picks given out to teams in said draft.
What are compensatory picks? The simple answer is compensation for players leaving your team via free agency. The bigger name player, with bigger contract, who departs will get you a higher compensatory draft pick.
So, what about the Pittsburgh Steelers? Last year they lost Kelvin Beachum, Antwon Blake, Brandon Boykin, Sean Spence, Will Johnson and Terence Garvin to free agency, but the majority of these players won’t give them any extra picks in the upcoming draft.
In fact, according to early projections by OverTheCap.com have the black and gold getting just one compensatory pick, and that would be for Beachum, who left the Steelers for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although that may disappoint some fans, the projection has the Steelers receiving a 5th round draft pick for losing Beachum.
Overall, it might not seem like much, but compensatory picks are extremely valuable in the upcoming draft, as this is the first year they are allowed to be traded with other teams, something which was not allowed in previous years. Therefore, when the Steelers are picking in the back end of the 1st round, they could potentially use that compensatory 5th round pick to trade with another team to move up, or back, in the selection process.
Lastly, it should be noted these are merely projections, and things could change depending on how the league views the loss of players, salaries, etc. According to the report, the loss of Blake and Johnson fall under the ‘Compensation over 32-pick limit; not awarded’.
Stay tuned to BTSC for more information on the upcoming NFL Draft, and the Steelers place in the mayhem which will occur this Spring.