The Patriots pick near the bottom of the draft order every year, but one of the ways they manage to replenish their roster season after season is by acquiring compensatory picks. And this year will be no exception.
Although the NFL has not yet announced the compensatory picks for the 2020 NFL draft, Nick Korte of OverTheCap.com has projected the picks using data from how the NFL has awarded compensatory picks in the past, and the Patriots appear to have the best haul of compensatory picks in the league coming.
The highest compensatory picks are in the third round, and New England is expected to be the only team with two third-round compensatory picks. Those picks, which are being awarded to the Patriots for losing Trey Flowers and Trent Brown in free agency, are likely to be the 97th and 99th overall picks in the draft. The Patriots are also expected to get two sixth-round compensatory picks, for losing Malcom Brown and Cordarrelle Patterson.
The other teams expected to get third-round compensatory picks are the Giants, Seahawks, Texans, Steelers and Eagles. The Eagles are also expected to get two fourth-round compensatory picks, as are the Ravens. The Rams, Vikings, Buccaneers, Eagles, Washington, Dolphins, Seahawks and Bears are all expected to get one fourth-round pick.
Seeing the Patriots at the top of the compensatory pick board, along with the Ravens, Seahawks and Eagles, is a reminder of how often compensatory picks help the rich get richer. Although the initial idea behind compensatory picks was to help the weaker teams that get their top players signed away in free agency, it hasn’t really worked out that way. What has actually happened is the smartest, most forward-thinking teams, the teams with stability and a long-term plan in their front offices, have consistently acquired the most compensatory picks. The 2020 draft will be no different.