In a bit of a surprise Friday news dump, the NFL announced the distribution of 32 additional compensatory draft picks for the 2017 NFL Draft. Teams are awarded these extra picks based on free agency from the previous year. Teams that lost significant players to free agency in the prior year are compensated with a draft pick valuing anywhere between the third and seventh round, depending on how important of a player it was.
Unfortunately, the Detroit Lions were not awarded a single compensatory pick for the 2017 draft. The free agents they lost—Isa Abdul-Quddus, Manny Ramirez and Travis Lewis, among others—were not significant to warrant compensation.
That means the Lions will likely have just eight draft picks: their normal picks in the first six rounds, plus the Patriots’ sixth-round pick from the Kyle Van Noy trade, and the Patriots’ pick in the seventh round from the Michael Williams trade in 2015. The Lions are not expected to have their original seventh-round pick as per the terms of the Van Noy trade.
The NFL ended up distributing 11 third-round picks, six fourth-round picks, nine fifth round picks, three sixths and three sevenths. However, only one team in the NFC North received a compensatory pick: the Green Bay Packers, who added a fifth-round pick after losing Casey Hayward in free agency. Hayward has seven interceptions for the San Diego Chargers in 2016.
For a full list of the compensatory picks, check out the NFL’s official announcement here.
While the Lions were not given any draft picks, they were significantly impacted by today’s announcement. With an additional 11 third-round picks, the Lions’ fourth-round selection moved from 117th overall to 128th.
This will be the first year that NFL teams can trade compensatory picks, so there is a chance the Lions end up with one after all.