Evaluation of the 2020 Compensatory Picks Projection

The 2020 compensatory draft picks were released today. As always, upon seeing the official release it’s proper to judge how my projection did against it.

TeamRd.Compensated Player
HOU3Tyrann Mathieu
NE3Trey Flowers
NYG3Landon Collins
NE3Trent Brown
SEA3Earl Thomas
PIT3Le’Veon Bell
PHI3Nick Foles
LAR3Rodger Saffold
MIN3Sheldon Richardson
BAL3CJ Mosley
TB4Kwon Alexander
CHI4Adrian Amos
MIA4Ja’Wuan James
WAS4Jamison Crowder
BAL4John Brown
SEA4Justin Coleman
PHI4Jordan Hicks
PHI4Golden Tate
DEN5Billy Turner
DAL5Cole Beasley
NE6Malcom Brown
NE6Cordarrelle Patterson
SEA6Shamar Stephen
NYG7Mario Edwards, Jr.
HOU7Kendall Lamm
MIN7Trevor Siemian
HOU7Christian Covington
MIA7Brandon Bolden
DEN7Max Garcia
MIN7Tom Compton
DEN7Tramaine Brock
NYG7Josh Mauro
Compensation over 32-pick limit; not awarded
NYG7Kerry Wynn

Highlighted in dark green, I got 29 of 32 comp picks correct with the correct player and the correct round. In addition, I got the one comp pick that missed the 32-pick limit correct, for a total of 30 out of 33.

Highlighted in yellow, there were 3 comp picks that I had the correct player for, but was off by one round. This results from a continual struggle to accurately project the cutoff between the third and fourth rounds. The benefactors of this miss are the Rams, Vikings, and Ravens, who all get 3rd round comp picks for the player lost when I had projected those as 4th rounders.

Thankfully, I was able to accurately project all 32 of the correct comp picks to the correct teams. I did not miss anything due to improper calculations, or wrongly guessing which contracts would qualify or disqualify players from becoming compensatory free agents. This is a first for me in six years of projecting compensatory picks. However, I do not have high confidence in having such an accurate projection in 2021, as new rules associated with the proposed CBA could make it more difficult to project.

If there is any mystery in this year’s comp picks, it is why Tyrann Mathieu’s contract was ranked as the highest compensatory free agent that generated a comp pick. He did log 97.8% of the defensive snaps and was named a first team AP All-Pro that would boost his ranking, but even those should have been nowhere near enough for Mathieu and his high end of $14 million in APY to surpass the likes of Trey Flowers at $18 million APY.

Finally, in cleaning up the order of the comp picks between my projection and the official release, there may be evidence that the NFL Management Council counted more workout bonuses and per game roster bonuses than usual. The proposed CBA explicitly says that these and other methods of payment will be included in the future, but there may be a chance that some of them were included retroactively for the 2020 comp picks.