The Atlanta Falcons have had a great problem in recent years: They have had too many good players to keep. A decade ago players like Dontari Poe would be locked in as Falcons for life. Now the team has to let him walk with Dimitroff looking toward extending the younger and better Grady Jarrett.
Since the Falcons have not been able to spend much in free agency, they keep getting compensatory picks. Usually called comp picks, the NFL hands out draft picks from the 3rd to the 7th round to teams that lose contributors and don’t sign replacements in free agency, and the Falcons have snagged one each in the 4th and 5th rounds.
Last season the Falcons lost Dontari Poe (3-year, $28 million deal with the Carolina Panthers), Adrian Clayborn (2-year, $10 million deal with the New England Patriots), and Taylor Gabriel (4-year, $26 million deal with the Chicago Bears). Atlanta’s only offsetting signing was Brandon Fusco’s 3-year, $12.75 million deal.
With that, they picked up two selections.
The NFL today sent clubs a list of 2019 compensatory draft picks. Here it is: pic.twitter.com/cS1dKnjZeo— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 22, 2019
With these selections, the Falcons now appear to have nine picks in the 2019 NFL draft, with the Jordan Richards trade last year going for a 2020 7th rounder. With that kind of ammo, the team can either swap up early on for an elite talent (compensatory picks can now be traded) or attempt to plug multiple holes and infuse the roster with an influx of young talent. Either way, those two early Day 3 selections can only help them get better, so this is welcome news.
The comp pick formula isn’t fully known, but is believed to be based predominately on contracts and playing time (Fusco played only 7 games before injury). Over The Cap believed the Falcons were inline for a fourth and fifth round pick. It looks like they nailed that projection.