NFL Compensatory Picks 2022: What are they, and who received them this year?

What are compensatory draft picks, how are they awarded, and what are the projected compensatory selections for the 2022 NFL Draft?

While the 2022 NFL Draft order was, for the most part, set at the conclusion of the Super Bowl, 32 compensatory selections still need to be assigned. These compensatory selections are based on how teams fared in free agency the previous season. Let’s examine what these picks are, how they are calculated and assigned, as well as the projected compensatory selections for the 2022 NFL Draft.

What are compensatory picks in the NFL?

Compensatory picks in the NFL Draft are awarded based on the players each team lost and gained in free agency. The idea of the compensatory selections is to try and provide balance for teams that lost high-value free agents in the previous year. Let’s take a look at how these compensatory picks work.

How do compensatory picks work?

The league defines unrestricted free agents as compensatory free agents. Teams that lose more compensatory free agents than they gain have the opportunity to earn a draft pick in the subsequent year’s draft. Additionally, teams that lose higher-valued compensatory free agents than they add can also be awarded compensatory selections.

The factors that go into calculating compensatory selections are the player’s average annual salary, playing time, and postseason honors. Salary is the main factor, with playing time having the second-most weight, and postseason awards the final component.

Picks are then assigned based on how the lost players (who qualify) compare to the qualifying players they gained. For example, the Patriots lost Joe Thuney, who would have been expected to net them a third-round compensatory selection. However, the addition of Matt Judon canceled that out and likely means the Patriots will not receive a third-round compensatory pick.

In total, a maximum of 32 picks are assigned in this manner, and each team can only have a maximum of four compensatory selections. A more detailed explanation of how compensatory picks are awarded can be found at Over the Cap.

Resolution JC-2A selections

November 2020 saw the NFL pass a new resolution (JC-2A). This resolution rewarded teams who developed minority candidates and then saw them hired into head coach or general manager positions by other organizations.

Teams receive two selections if another team hires one candidate; it escalates to three selections if other teams hire two candidates. Yet, they can only receive one compensatory pick in this way per year. If a team qualifies for Resolution JC-2A, they can have a maximum of five compensatory selections in a given draft.

These resolution JC-2A selections are awarded at the end of the third round, immediately following any “standard” compensatory selections awarded in the third round. The order of the Resolution JC-2A compensatory selections is the same as the draft order of those teams in the first round.

Compensatory draft picks awarded in 2022

The official compensatory selections for the 2022 NFL season are not available yet. However, based on previous years, projections for the compensatory selections have been made. The only picks we know for sure come through the Resolution JC-2A element discussed above. However, the exact pick number of those selections will depend on whether any other compensatory selections are awarded in the third round.

Resolution JC-2A compensatory selections in 2022

Pick number in parenthesis and compensated departure in italics.

  • Cleveland Browns (99)
    Awarded when the Vikings hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as GM
  • Baltimore Ravens (100)
    Awarded when the Texans hired David Culley as HC
  • New Orleans Saints (101)
    Awarded when the Falcons hired Terry Fontenot as GM
  • San Francisco 49ers (102) – traded to MIA
    Awarded when the Jets hired Robert Saleh as HC and the Commanders hired Martin Mayhew as GM
  • Kansas City Chiefs (103)
    Awarded when the Bears hired Ryan Poles as GM
  • Los Angeles Rams (104)
    Awarded when the Lions hired Brad Holmes as GM 
  • San Francisco 49ers (105)
    Awarded when the Dolphins hired Mike McDaniel as HC 

Confirmed NFL third-round compensatory picks in 2022

  • Detroit Lions (97)
  • New Orleans (98)

Confirmed fourth-round selections in 2022

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (138)
  • Baltimore Ravens (139)
  • Green Bay Packers (140)
  • Baltimore Ravens (141)
  • Los Angeles Rams (142)
  • Tennessee Titans (143)

Confirmed fifth-round selections in 2022

  • Dallas Cowboys (176)
  • Detroit Lions (177)
  • Dallas Cowboys (178)
  • Indianapolis Colts (179)

Confirmed sixth-round selections in 2022

  • Los Angeles Rams (211)
  • Los Angeles Rams (212)
  • Atlanta Falcons (213)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (214)
  • Arizona Cardinals (215)
  • Indianapolis Colts (216)
  • Detroit Lions (217)
  • Los Angeles Rams (218)
  • Tennessee Titans (219)
  • San Francisco 49ers (220)
  • San Francisco 49ers (221)

Seventh-round compensatory selections in 2022

  • Los Angeles Chargers (254)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (255)
  • Arizona Cardinals (256)
  • Arizona Cardinals (257)
  • Green Bay Packers (258)
  • Kansas City Chiefs (259)
  • Los Angeles Chargers (260)
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers (261)
  • San Francisco 49ers (262)

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