2016 Compensatory Draft Picks Update (9/15/2015): Snap Count Adjustments Now In Place

With a full week of football in the books, I’ve entered in the snap count data from Week 1 for the Unrestricted Free Agents from 2015 eligible for the compensatory pick formula for 2016.  As I alluded to in my update last week, this has caused some changes in the list of compensatory picks, including changes to the order of picks, the round values of some, and the cancellations of others.  Let’s quickly step through some of these.

As I anticipated, the low snap counts of some players on veteran minimum or minimum salary benefit deals (Sam Acho, Seyi Ajirotutu, Nick Bellore, and Alex Carrington) caused them to not qualify for what I believe will be an adjusted APY threshold of around $825,000 (a number that’s actually the same as many of those MSB deals).  As expected, this resulted in Arizona losing a 5th (Acho), San Diego losing a 6th (Ajirotutu), San Francisco gaining a 6th (Bellore), and Buffalo gaining a 6th (Carrington).  If you now look at the cancellation charts you will now see those non-qualifying UFAs show up in a different faded shade that do not factor into the team’s overall math.

In addition, there were four players that I anticipated would move up or down a round due to playing time.  Those players were Julius Thomas demoted to a 4th for Denver, Jermey Parnell promoted to a 4th for Dallas, Vince Wilfork promoted to a 5th for New England, and Brice McCain promoted to a 6th for Pittsburgh.  However, there were a few additional round changes that occurred that I didn’t anticipate at this point:

  • There were three cornerbacks that played a significant amount of snaps in Week 1: Chris Culliver (98.2%), Davon House (100%), and Buster Skrine (77.5%).  This respectively caused Culliver to move up to a 3rd for San Francisco, House a 4th for Green Bay, and Skrine a 4th for Cleveland.  All three will have to keep those high playing times going in order for those higher comp pick values to hold, but that is certainly a bit of encouraging news for those three teams.
  • Continuing to show that I may have underestimated the amount of snaps starting cornerbacks typically play, Terence Newman’s 93.2% of defensive snaps last night caused him to be promoted from a 7th to a 6th.  But unlike the other three cornerbacks above, this promotion caused a change in Cincinnati’s cancellation chart that is helpful for them: Pat Sims, a 7th round value, now cancels out fellow 7th round valued Marshall Newhouse, leaving Newman open for a 6th round comp pick for the Bengals.  Provided that Newman can keep those snap counts close to that figure, he should end up well above the 32-pick limit and allow Cincinnati to show up on the final list in March. (Also, the addition of Newman caused Seattle to lose their 7th for O’Brien Schofield as he’s now back to just missing the cut at #33.)
  • While New England received good news for seeing Wilfork upgraded to a 5th, they also received some bad news.  Akeem Ayers, earlier valued as a 6th, only played 10.8% of the defensive snaps for the Rams in Week 1, causing his value to fall to a 7th.  This also caused Ayers to get cancelled out by Bradley Fletcher, meaning that the Patriots are now getting compensated for the next open 7th in line, which is Jonathan Casillas.

It is, of course, important to emphasize that the current list is still provisional, and those snap percentages will change as the season progresses.  A relevant player getting sent to IR could still knock a player down a round, or a player who didn’t play in Week 1 could go back up a round if he gets enough snaps. (As a Broncos fan, I’m very cautiously hoping that the latter will happen for Thomas, for example.)  But as the season moves on, the list will probably gel closer into what the final projection will be by the end of the regular season.

And on that note, it’s unlikely that I will write another full blown article on this subject until the beginning of January. But I may still report on a few interesting changes if/when they come on my Twitter account–and you can always feel free to ask me questions about the 2016 compensatory picks on Twitter.  But my goal is to continue to update the snap counts each week, so keep on checking in with the list of comp picks to see if further changes happen