This article refers specifically to OTC’s final projection for the 2023 NFL Draft’s compensatory picks. For details on the basics and methodology of projecting compensatory picks in general, please reference this article. Note that this projection does not include compensatory picks awarded via 2020 Resolution JC-2A.
To understand how this projection is generated for each team, please reference the compensatory pick cancellation charts here.
|DAL||6||Cedrick Wilson Jr.|
This draft, I am projecting that there will be 31 compensatory picks generated from the typical netting process, as well as a 32nd comp pick that is generated from the “net value” process. A net value compensatory pick has not been awarded since 2013, so it is worth explaining how it is awarded. Per Appendix V, Paragraph 5 of the CBA:
Notwithstanding Paragraph 3(a) above, if a Club loses the same number of CFAs as it signs or acquires, it will receive a Compensatory Draft Selection if the sum of the Final Numerical Values of all CFAs lost is more than 300 points greater than the sum of the Final Numerical Values of all CFAs signed or acquired by the Club. Any such selection shall occur after all Compensatory Draft Selections at the end of the seventh round have been exercised, but prior to the exercise of any Supplemental Selections under Article 6, Subsection 2(a).
In this draft, I project that at least one team, New Orleans, will earn a net value compensatory pick. This results from the Saints seeing two players, Terron Armstead and Marcus Williams, depart for high value contracts ($15.95M APY and $14M APY, for compensatory pick purposes), while signing two players, Marcus Maye and Andy Dalton, for lower valued contracts ($7.5M APY and $4M APY). Armstead are ranked #98 and #144, generating points of 1,943 and 1,840, while Maye and Dalton are ranked #297 and #436, generating points of 1,747 and 1,595. The net value resulting from the differences of those sums, 3,842 and 3,342, is 505 points, well above the 300 point threshold.
There is also a chance that Chicago and Minnesota could be awarded net value comp picks. For the Bears, it’s the only way they could earn any comp picks, but for the Vikings it would be massively disappointing, as their more likely scenarios have them earning at least one comp pick of a higher round, and perhaps two.
This projection anticipates exactly 32 eligible regular compensatory picks. If there are any eligible picks that rank 33rd and lower, they will not be awarded, although the official release will typically acknowledge presence of any comp picks in excess of 32. There is a chance that fewer than 32 regular compensatory will be awarded. If that happens, the NFL Management Council will add supplementary 7th round compensatory picks to get to 32, in the order of what would be the eighth round. This draft, the first five teams in order for supplementary comp picks would be Chicago, Houston, Arizona, Indianapolis, and the Los Angeles Rams.
The official release has been inconsistent in recent years. There used to be some new consistency on the release coming out on the Friday before the NFL Scouting Combine. This year, that is scheduled for February 28-March 6, so the Friday before would be February 24. However, last year it was released on March 15, and the year before on March 10. The range of the release could be anywhere after the Super Bowl (February 12) but before the start of free agency (March 15).
The most difficult part of projecting the compensatory picks is accurately identifying where the cutoffs lie between each rounds, and where the cutoff for qualifying as a Compensatory Free Agent (CFA) is. That is because the larger subset of the leaguewide players of which the smaller subset of compensatory free agents are judged against is never the same size, and requires accurately tracking roster transactions for thousands of players–a feat that will always have a margin of error.
The key number that determines these cutoffs is, per Appendix V, Paragraph 2(a) of the CBA, is the number of “all other League players on rosters at the conclusion of the regular season”. This draft, I will be repeating an effort from the last projection, in which I consider two possibilities for this number as a range. OTC’s database has identified 2,097 players that were either on the active roster or reserve lists at the end of the regular season. However, I believe that the number will be closer to the average of the estimated number of leaguewide players in previous sets of compensatory picks, dating back to 2014. This average comes out to 1,978, and is the number that is used for the above projection. If that number is closer to accurate, here is where the cutoffs would lie:
|Round||Percentile||Overall Rank||Representative Player|
|3rd/4th||95th (top 5%)||98||Terron Armstead|
|4th/5th||90th (top 10%)||197||Sam Hubbard|
|5th/6th||85th (top 15%)||296||Daniel Jones|
|6th/7th||75th (top 25%)||494||Azeez Al-Shaair|
|7th/Qualify||65th (top 35%)||692||Oren Burks|
Players On The Cutoff Bubbles
While it is my hope that my projection of where the cutoffs lie is correct, there is enough of a margin of error that the players that are close to them may fall on the opposite side of where I have them projected. In most cases, if I’m wrong it means that the team in question will still get a comp pick for that player, but that it may be in a round higher or lower. But in a few cases (those are bolded), it could change cancellations, possibly taking away or greatly devaluing a projected comp pick—or possibly adding or greatly upgrading a comp pick.
- Darious Williams (Los Angeles Rams): #188
- Projected 4th/5th cutoff: #197
- Randy Gregory (Dallas): #205
- Mark Glowinski (New York Giants): #288
- Tyler Conklin (Minnesota): #295
- Projected 5th/6th cutoff: #296
- Ted Karras (New England): #304
- Lucas Patrick (Green Bay): #487
- Jarran Reed (Kansas City/Green Bay): #491
- Projected 6th/7th cutoff: #494
- Mike Hughes (Kansas City): #680
- Brandon Bolden (New England/Las Vegas): #687
- Solomon Thomas (Las Vegas): #691
- Oren Burks (Green Bay/San Francisco): #692
- Projected 7th/Qualifying cutoff: #692
- Pat O’Donnell (Chicago/Green Bay): #700
- Chris Reed (Indianapolis/Minnesota): #724
- Tom Compton (San Francisco): #725
The major question for this draft’s projection deals with how the compensatory formula treats CFAs that have ten or more accrued seasons upon signing. Appendix V, Paragraph 4 of the CBA states the following:
Notwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph 3(b) above, no Club shall be entitled to a Compensatory Draft Selection before the end of the fifth round for any CFA (excluding quarterbacks) with ten or more Accrued Seasons at the time of signing with his new Club.
This draft, there are two players, Von Miller and Chandler Jones, who will be subject to this rule given that they both signed for contracts that would otherwise clearly qualify for the 3rd round. In the case of Jones, this is straightforward: since the Cardinals did not sign any CFAs, there is no one to cancel out Jones’s departure, so the comp pick they will get for his departure will get demoted to a 5th rounder, regardless of the netting process.
But for Miller, this may be more complex than I thought. Initially, I had thought this would also be straightforward for Miller, and that his contract would be considered as a 5th round in all aspects of the compensatory formula–both in netting and valuation.
However, after consultation with multiple sources OTC considers reliable, I no longer believe this to be the case. Putting emphasis on “[n]otwithstanding the provisions of Paragraph 3(b) above”, which dictates the percentile system that values each contract into a round, I now believe that for purposes of netting, the compensatory formula will consider Miller’s contract to be of a 3rd round value.
This is potentially good news for the Rams. If Miller, the team’s highest otherwise valued departure, were to be canceled by the signing of their highest (and only)–Allen Robinson–this would leave their second highest departure open for a comp pick. That is Darious Williams, whose contract is likely to be valued in the 4th round. However, there is one more potential twist: Robinson’s contract is also likely to be valued in the 4th round. Under the normal netting process, the Williams and Robinson contracts would still cancel out, leaving Miller’s contract open–which by Paragraph 4 cannot be awarded by a 3rd round pick. But this does not make practical sense: it would mean that if the Rams had signed Robinson to a higher valued contract, they would have gotten a higher comp pick, which is in pretty clear violation of the spirit of the compensatory system.
Therefore, I am projecting that regardless of the precise rounds that the contracts of Miller and Robinson are valued in, that they will cancel each other out, leaving open a 4th round pick to the Rams for the departure of Williams. But I could be wrong on two fronts, that leave Los Angeles with a 5th here instead of a 4th. One, of course, is if I misinterpret the netting process as I stated above. The other is that there’s a chance that Williams’s contract could be valued as a 5th. If that happens, my hope is that I will notice this by missing on other comp picks due to all of the cutoffs shifting higher than I thought.
Beyond the major question described above, I have attempted to pay close attention to incentives earned this time around, something that I could have done better in last draft’s projection. Perhaps the most notable player to watch in this regard is Chandon Sullivan, who had $400,000 of incentives tied to high snap counts and team improvement metrics. Sullivan definitely satisfied the snap counts, and OTC is projecting that the Vikings met the team improvement requirement. But that could be wrong, and if it is, it will impact the projection for both Minnesota and Green Bay.
Possible Altering Scenarios
- If Pat O’Donnell qualifies, Chicago could be eligible for a net value 7th, but it would be very close to missing the 300 point threshold.
- Green Bay
- If Chandon Sullivan does not qualify, Green Bay will not get a 7th for his departure.
- If Oren Burks does not qualify, Green Bay will not get a 7th for his departure.
- If Chandon Sullivan, Oren Burks, and Pat O’Donnell all qualify, Green Bay will not get the higher of two 7ths, likely canceling out Sullivan.
- If at least one of Chandon Sullivan or Oren Burks qualify, Pat O’Donnell does not qualify, Lucas Patrick’s contract is valued in the 6th round, and Jarran Reed’s contract is valued in the 7th round, Green Bay will get a 6th for Patrick instead of a 7th for either Sullivan or Burks.
- If Pat O’Donnell qualifies, and one of Chandon Sullivan or Oren Burks do not qualify, nothing changes for Green Bay.
- If Pat O’Donnell qualifies, and both Chandon Sullivan and Oren Burks do not qualify, Green Bay will get nothing.
- If Chris Reed qualifies, Indianapolis will get a 7th for his departure.
- Kansas City
- If Mike Hughes does not qualify, Kansas City will not get a 7th for his departure.
- Las Vegas
- If Brandon Bolden qualifies and Solomon Thomas does not qualify, Las Vegas will not get a 6th for either Quinton Jefferson or Casey Hayward.
- Los Angeles Rams
- If Von Miller’s contract is ruled to cancel out Darious Williams’s contract instead of Allen Robinson’s, or Williams’s contract is valued in the 5th round, the Los Angeles Rams will get a 5th for either Miller or Williams instead of a 4th for Williams.
- If Tyler Conklin’s contract is valued in the 6th round, Minnesota will get a 6th for Mason Cole instead of a 5th for Conklin.
- If Chandon Sullivan and Chris Reed do not qualify, Minnesota will get a 6th for Xavier Woods.
- If Chandon Sullivan and Chris Reed qualify, Minnesota will get a net value 7th instead of a 5th or 6th for Tyler Conklin or Mason Cole.
- New England
- If Brandon Bolden does not qualify, New England will not get a 7th for his departure.
- New York Giants
- If Mark Glowinski’s contract is valued in the 6th round, the New York Giants will get a 5th for Evan Engram instead of a 6th for Lorenzo Carter.
- San Francisco
- If Oren Burks does not qualify, San Francisco will get a 7th for Raheem Mostert.
- If both Oren Burks and Tom Compton qualify, San Francisco will get a 7th for Compton.