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Falcons 2015 draft: Atlanta not forecast to receive compensatory picks in 2015, 2016

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The Falcons have made it a habit to acquire compensatory picks, but no longer.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons have successfully wrangled a fair number of compensatory draft picks over the last several years, but it appears that run will come to a screeching halt in 2015 and 2016.

That formula tends to favor teams that lost multiple free agents and don't sign that many back, and that's what has changed for the Falcons over the last two years. The team lost relatively few free agents heading into the 2014 season, and they've been extremely active in 2015 free agency, meaning they're not likely to come away with many (if any) picks each of the next two drafts.

The team has had a mixed track record with these compensation picks, as you can see here.

2007: Jason Snelling (7th round, 244th overall)
2008: Thomas Decoud (3rd round, 98th overall)
Martrez Millner (4th round, 133rd overall)
2010: Mike Johnson (3rd round, 98th overall)
Kerry Meier (5th round, 165th overall)
2012: Travian Robertson (7th round, 249th overall)
2013: Levine Toilolo (4th round, 133rd overall)
Kemal Ishmael (7th round, 243rd overall)
Zeke Motta (7th round, 244th overall)
Sean Renfree (7th round, 249th overall)
2014: Prince Shembo (4th round, 139rd overall)
Yawin Smallwood (7th round, 253rd overall)
Tyler Starr (7th round, 255th overall)

Ultimately, the team is probably better off in the immediate future simply signing free agents rather than trying to acquire additional mid-to-late round picks. Only Snelling, DeCoud, Ishmael and Toilolo have been legitimate contributors for the Falcons, while Shembo and Starr may still yet be. If you can acquire more compensatory picks and consistently pick up quality players with them, by all means, do so. But the Falcons are heading in a different direction right now, one that emphasizes veteran competence over the unknown upside of fresh draft picks, and we'll have to hope it pays off for them.