For the fourth straight year, the Detroit Lions did not earn any additional draft picks through the NFL’s compensatory pick program.
Compensatory picks are awarded based on a complicated formula that takes into account the free agency signings from the previous offseason. In short, if you lose more free agents than you gain—taking into account the size of contracts both in years and in money—then you are likely to receive additional picks as compensation. The bigger the net loss, the higher the compensation. Hence, “compensatory” picks.
Thus, it should come as no surprise that the Lions came out empty for the 2020 NFL Draft. Last year, the Lions didn’t lose much in talent to free agency, with the likes of Ezekiel Ansah, Kerry Hyder and Levine Toilolo highlighting Detroit’s departures.
On the other hand, Detroit made plenty of significant free agency signings, including a whopping five-year, $90 million deal to Trey Flowers, a record-breaking four-year, $36 million deal with nickel corner Justin Coleman and a significant four-year, $25 million contract with tight end Jesse James.
The last time the Lions were awarded a compensatory pick was 2016, after letting Ndamukong Suh it free agency. The Lions turned that extra pick (third rounder) into Graham Glasgow.
Across the NFC North, the Vikings led the way with three additional compensatory picks for the 2020 draft. They earned a third-round pick (for losing Sheldon Richardson) and two seventh-round picks. The Bears received a fourth round pick, while the Packers, too, were shut out.
In total, only 15 teams received compensatory picks this year.
You can see all of the compensatory picks awarded right here: