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OverTheCap projects that the Redskins will get 3 compensatory draft picks this off-season, not four


NFL: NFL Draft Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Compensatory Draft Pick system is not very well understood by anyone who hasn’t made a study out of it.

The 5 O’Clock Club: Explaining how compensatory draft picks work (Updated 25 Feb)

It’s a ‘secret’ system that the league owners administer for themselves.

However, through close observation over a number of years, certain people have created a set of rules that seem to explain how the system works and are able to project compensatory picks annually with great accuracy.

While OverTheCap didn’t figure out the rules, they have written extensively about the Compensatory Draft Pick system, and they publish a “Cancellation Chart” each season to help readers understand which teams are likely to receive compensatory picks.

If you find yourself curious about how it all works, I suggest that you follow these links for in-depth discussion:

List of Compensatory Picks from 2015 onward

Today, OverTheCap published their annual projection of compensatory draft picks, and the article contained a small unwelcome surprise for Redskins fans.

The Redskins currently are projected to have 8 draft picks to be exercised in the April draft (after the allocation of compensatory draft picks following the annual Spring League Meeting). This is a bit of a surprise because most people were expecting Washington to be awarded four compensatory picks, bringing them to a total of 9 picks to be used in April.

While the Redskins will probably qualify for the maximum of four compensatory picks, only 32 picks are allocated by the league annually, and OverTheCap projects the Redskins to lose their “fourth” pick (the expected 7th rounder associated with Niles Paul) to the 32-pick limit.

Now, OTC is good — not perfect — at projecting compensatory picks. Here’s what OTC, themselves, have to say about the formula:

The formula used to award compensatory draft picks, developed by the NFL Management Council, has never been publicly revealed. However, in the years since 1994 outside observers have been able to determine much of how the formula works, and have created projections in an effort to demystify how compensatory picks work, a process that has confused many an NFL fan.

As I said, OTC isn’t flawless at projecting compensatory picks — they often miss a projection every year or two — but they’re pretty damned good.

The one encouraging thing for Redskins fans is that the team’s 4th projected pick (the one connected to Niles Paul) is listed as the 33rd pick, making it the first one cut off after the 32-pick limit. If OTC has made a mistake in the projection that would move a player/team up the list, then the Redskins, based on the OTC chart, would be the most likely beneficiary.

I wouldn’t get my hopes up. It looks like that late 7th round pick isn’t going to materialize.

The good news is that OTC expects the NFL to award three compensatory picks to the Redskins:

  • 3rd round pick - Kirk Cousins
  • 5th round pick - Trent Murphy
  • 6th round pick - Ryan Grant

These three picks should supplement the 5 picks that the Redskins currently hold:

  • 1st round
  • 2nd round
  • 3rd round
  • 5th round
  • 7th round

The Redskins currently-expected ten picks in the 2019 draft should look like this:

  • Round 1 - 15th overall
  • Round 2 - 46th overall
  • Round 3 - 76th overall
  • Round 3 - compensatory
  • Round 4 - traded to Packers for HaHa Clinton-Dix
  • Round 5 - 15th pick in the round
  • Round 5 - compensatory
  • Round 6 - Selected Adonis Alexander in 2018 supplemental draft
  • Round 6 - compensatory
  • Round 7 - 13th pick in the round