Toward the end of March, the NFL will officially announce its compensatory picks for the 2015 NFL Draft. As usual, the compensatory picks will be based on last year's free-agent class and things like salary, playing time and postseason honors.
The exact formula that determines compensatory picks is secret, but Over the Cap has put together an extensive post that attempts to project this year's selections. In the projection, the Detroit Lions are expected to come away with zero compensatory picks for 2015 despite losing a couple of notable players in free agency last year.
So, why no compensatory picks for the Lions in 2015? Using Over the Cap's data for other teams, it looks like the qualifying free agents relevant to the Lions will be as follows:
- Lost (2): Shaun Hill, Willie Young
- Gained (3): Golden Tate, Cassius Vaughn, James Ihedigbo
The actual compensatory selections could turn out differently considering the process of projecting them is so tough, but it boils down to this: It appears that the Lions added more than they lost in free agency in 2014. As a result, don't expect the Lions to gain any extra draft picks this year.
Last year, the Lions got a pair of fourth-round compensatory picks despite adding three notable free agents in 2013, but that was because they lost a total of five qualifying free agents. This year, based on what happened in 2014, the Lions apparently just didn't lose enough to be in the running for any compensatory picks.
(Go here for a more detailed explanation of how compensatory picks work.)