The Seahawks have been awarded two compensatory picks in the upcoming NFL Draft. Both are in the third round – Nos. 102 and 106 overall – which makes it a better haul than some expected.
That gives the Seahawks seven picks in all this year, including five in the first three rounds.
The league announced compensatory picks on Friday, earlier than normal. Sixteen teams were awarded a total of 32 compensatory picks, which are, in the simplest of terms, given based on net losses in free agency. Teams that lose more or better compensatory free agents than they acquire are eligible for a maximum of four compensatory picks. The formula for awarding them is based on salary, playing time and postseason honors for the players a team loses versus those it signs.
In giving the Seahawks two third-round compensatory picks, the NFL weighed their free-agent losses from last offseason – linebacker Bruce Irvin, left tackle Russell Okung, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and guard J.R. Sweezy – against the two qualifying outside free agents Seattle signed – offensive tackles J’Marcus Webb and Bradley Sowell.
The Seahawks were projected by some, including 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton and OverTheCap.com, to receive two picks. But both of the picks being in the third round qualifies as a bit of a surprise.
As it stands now, the Seahawks will have five selections in the first three rounds: their own in the first (No. 26 overall), second (No. 58) and third (No. 90) plus the two third-round compensatories (Nos. 102 and 106).
They don’t have a pick in either of the next two rounds as Seattle gave away its 2017 fourth in a draft-day trade last year and forfeited its fifth in September as part of the NFL’s punishment for past violations of offseason contact rules.
The Seahawks have their own pick in the sixth round ( No. 210) and have one in the seventh. Seattle traded a seventh to Oakland before the start of last season for safety Dewey McDonald but had acquired one (No. 226) a year earlier in the trade that sent wide receiver Kevin Norwood to Carolina. Both of those seventh-rounders were conditional, but the NFL’s full draft order, which was also released Friday, confirmed that the conditions were met.
A significant rule change that could impact the Seahawks in particular is that, beginning this year, teams can trade compensatory picks. That will give John Schneider additional ammunition to trade on draft day, something he’s been inclined to do often during his seven seasons as Seattle’s general manager. It could carry extra appeal this year since the Seahawks have such an imbalance in picks between Rounds 3 through 5 and also because they only have seven picks in all. Schneider has never made fewer than eight selections in any draft with Seattle and has averaged almost 9.5 a year.
Here are the Seahawks’ picks by round:
Round 1: No. 26 overall
Round 2: No. 58
Round 3: Nos. 90, 102* and 106*
Round 4: None (traded to New England)
Round 5: None (forfeited for OTA violations)
Round 6: No. 210
Round 7: No. 226 (from Carolina)