The Falcons have been working with less than their full complement of draft picks for the last couple of years now. That's led to back-to-back drafts where the team was able to snap one or two starters and a few projects, but not much else. Julio Jones was worth that price, I believe, but certainly it's hard to plug multiple holes in the draft working with only six picks.
Thankfully, 2013 looks poised to change that. Not only do the Falcons have a pick in each round for the first time since 2011, but at least one analyst is predicting that the Falcons will have four compensatory picks in April. That would give the Falcons the flexibility to package a couple of picks and move up if they needed to, or just to take a ton of players and try to rebuild their depth at positions like linebacker.
Here's a look at the Blogging the BEast article, which projects the Falcons to have a fourth and three seventh round picks as a result of free agents signed away a year ago. Those include Curtis Lofton (the fourth rounder), Eric Weems, Kelvin Hayden and James Sanders.
The extra picks can and should help, even if most of them are at the back end of the draft. The ability to trade picks, move up or just take a shot at some raw athletes who might have promise but would otherwise be subject to being snapped up as a UDFA by another team is exceedingly valuable. The extra fourth could translate into anything, really, but the Falcons could probably find a promising young running back that late if they wanted to go that route. Flexibility!
I expect we'll see Thomas Dimitroff moving around in the draft a little bit with the flexibility this will give him, or perhaps even trading a seventh rounder for another aging but still talented cornerback. Think the Eagles will give up Asomugha?
Weigh in on the compensatory picks, if you would.