Green Bay Packers: Projected Compensatory Picks for 2021 NFL Draft

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The Green Bay Packers logo is seen on a video board during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: The Green Bay Packers logo is seen on a video board during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT /

After losing a few key players to free agency, Over The Cap is projecting that the Green Bay Packers receive three compensatory picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.

During the 2019 offseason, we saw GM Brian Gutekunst and the Green Bay Packers make four big free-agent signings, something that I don’t think many of us expected. And while those flashy moves are always entertaining and fun to talk about, it’s also not the norm either.

In fact, with limited cap space, what we saw from the Packers this offseason is far more normal than what we saw in 2019. While they made a few low-key free-agent additions, Green Bay is largely banking on internal development to take them to the next level this season. And truthfully, that’s what the good teams do; they draft and develop a majority of their talent.

So if you’re hoping that the 2021 offseason resembles the 2019 offseason, well, you’re going to be disappointed. Once again, the Green Bay Packers aren’t going to have a ton of spendable cap space, and the space that they do have is going to go towards re-signing David Bakhtiari, Kenny Clark, Kevin King, Aaron Jones, or Corey Linsley.

This means that instead of infusing this roster with some key free-agent additions, the Packers will have to build through the draft. Which once again, and not to be repetitive, is what the successful NFL franchises do.

And the good news for the Packers is that they’re projected to have a few extra draft picks come next April in the form of compensatory draft picks.

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Now, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, compensatory draft picks are awarded to teams based on the players they lost and gained in free agency over the previous offseason. Some pending free agents are designated as compensatory free agents, and if an NFL team loses more compensatory free agents than they sign, they earn a compensatory draft pick to make up the difference.

According to Over The Cap, the Packers lost four compensatory free agents this past offseason in Blake Martinez, Brian Bulaga, Kyler Fackrell, and B.J. Goodson, and they only gained one in Devin Funchess. This nets the Packers three compensatory draft picks, which Over the Cap is projecting to come in Rounds 4 (Martinez), 5 (Bulaga), and 6 (Fackrell).

As we’ve seen over the years, there is plenty of talent to be had in the middle rounds of the draft that could bolster this Packers’ roster, but this also gives Green Bay the ability to trade up in the earlier rounds as well. Or if Gutey is really feeling adventurous, those extra draft picks could be used in a trade to land a current NFL player.

A few potential positions that the Green Bay Packers could target next draft include receiver, inside linebacker, offensive tackle, and interior defensive lineman to name a few. So pretty much the same perceived needs they had coming into this year’s draft.

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Although draft picks usually aren’t as fun or flashy as big-time free-agent additions, at least through 2021, having a successful draft is how Green Bay is going to keep this team competitive. And just as the Packers did many years during the Ted Thompson era, they’ll have some compensatory draft picks to help them do just that.