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Lions in line for multiple 2016 compensatory picks

A lot could happen in the coming weeks and coming season to change this, but as of right now, the Detroit Lions are in position to receive multiple 2016 compensatory picks.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions aren't projected to receive any compensatory picks this year, but chances are the situation will be much different in 2016. Obviously a lot could change from now until then, especially with free agency less than a week old, but the Lions are already in position to receive multiple compensatory picks next year.

To be specific, Over the Cap currently has three compensatory picks going to the Lions in 2016, although the one in the seventh round wouldn't actually be awarded since there is a limit on how many are available each year for the entire NFL.

Third round: Ndamukong Suh
Fifth round: Nick Fairley
Seventh round: Jed Collins (if there's room)

Since there is so much secrecy surrounding the exact formula for compensatory picks, it's important to stress that these are projections. What's more, considering compensatory picks are based on multiple factors -- salary, playing time and postseason honors -- what happens during the 2015 season could alter the above forecast.

In addition, these projections are very fluid considering the Lions could cancel out some of the above compensatory picks by signing free agents from other teams. To this point, the Lions have only traded for Haloti Ngata, signed Tyrunn Walker, who was an untendered restricted free agent, and re-signed some of their own free agents. As a result, they haven't gained any unrestricted free agents from other teams, but that could very well change in the near future. (By the way, signing offensive guard Justin Blalock wouldn't change the compensatory pick outlook since he was released by the Atlanta Falcons. Released players don't factor into the compensatory pick formula.)

In any case, it's way too early to worry about the specific round or even the specific number of selections, but the point is that the Lions will likely get at least a couple of compensatory picks in 2016. It would be nice if they had a couple coming their way this year considering they traded away their picks in the fourth and fifth rounds to get Ngata, but they will have to wait until 2016 to "benefit" from this year's free-agent losses.

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After winning their first NFC North title in 30 years, the Lions have unfinished business this offseason. Stay updated with Jeremy Reisman through Pride of Detroit Direct, our newsletter offering up exclusive analysis. Sign up with NFCNORTH30 to get 30% off after your free trial.