The Falcons just cut Takk McKinley, costing themselves a chance at a compensatory draft selection in 2022 after the mercurial defensive end hits free agency. That vexed quite a few Falcons fans hoping the team would get something for a player who had barely played in 2020, but the good news is that they’re still projected to have three compensatory picks in 2021.
Per the latest projections from Over the Cap, Atlanta is likely to get back a pair of 5th round compensatory selections for Vic Beasley and De’Vondre Campbell, plus a 6th round selection for Wes Schweitzer. Those late round picks aren’t guaranteed hits at all, but we all know that the Falcons benefitted from a bounty of picks in 2008 when Thomas Dimitroff arrived on the scene, and hopefully they’ll benefit again from having a solid haul in 2021.
The team was obviously going to let Beasley go, and he’s had little success after a weird summer that saw him arrive late to Titans camp and then ultimately get cut by the team. He visited with the Raiders and may sign there, but getting a 5th round pick back for a player the Falcons were obviously eager to move on from feels like a victory.
If Foye Oluokun wasn’t having a breakout season the Falcons may have regretted letting Campbell go, but because he has they don’t appear to be missing the former fourth round pick at all. Campbell has been a solid starter for the Cardinals, but Oluokun has simply been better, and getting a fifth round pick for a player you had little trouble replacing is again a big plus.
Surprisingly—or not, if you were quietly a Schweitzer fan—the veteran guard’s departure might be the most keenly felt loss. James Carpenter being better than he was a year ago has helped us feel better about the decision to let Schweitzer go—many Falcons fans were downright eager to push him out—but he’s been an above average starter at guard for Washington for six games thus far. The Falcons can console themselves with their strong line performance and the fact that they’ll get back a sixth rounder for him if all goes well.
Ultimately, the Falcons are currently projected to have nine selections, with their usual complement through the first four rounds, three 5th rounders, and two 6th rounders in 2021. We’ll hope they do end up getting all those selections, and that they knock this upcoming class out of the park.