The Packers lost a fair number of players this offseason and it looks like it will pay off in the 2018 draft (in addition to giving them a healthy cap). According to OverTheCap.com (who usually pretty much nail the compensatory picks every year), the Packers should get a 3rd (the highest round possible for a comp pick), a 5th, and two 6ths in next year’s draft.
Depending on how the season goes and what Ted wants to spend money on, the Packers could be in line for a solid set of comp picks in 2019, too. Here are the upcoming free agents for this offseason and how they could impact comp picks.
First, there’s some good starters due for new contracts:
Davante Adams – Adams had a breakout season last year, finishing second in the NFL in touchdowns (behind Jordy Nelson). Given Jordy’s age and potential move into the slot, it could make Davante the premier perimeter threat. The Packers have kept receivers like Jordy and Cobb around in the past, but at reasonable rates. When guys like Greg Jennings wanted too much, the Packers had no problem letting him go (and proving the Rodgers is the one stirring the kool aid). He could garner a 3rd if he left to a lucrative deal – the NFL loves overpaying wide receivers.
Morgan Burnett – He has been solid for most of his career and has taken it up a notch recently. Last year, he started showcasing his versatility by moving around a lot more. With Kentrell Brice looking to make a second year jump and Josh Jones impressing in early team activities, Burnett may be a luxury the Packers decide not to invest in next year. If he had ran that interception at Seattle in 2014 back for a touchdown instead of laying down with no one in front of him, he might have been even more recognizable and expensive.
Corey Linsley – Sure he’s been injured, but he and JC Tretter performed at a similar level as they took turns being injured and starting. Tretter looks like he’s going to get the Packers a 5th round pick, and Linsley could get that or even bump it to a 4th depending on how he and the team perform this year. A 5th is probably more likely, though, as centers tend to be undervalued.
Lane Taylor – With one solid year of starting under his belt, Taylor could either grow to bigger things or go the way of Will Whitticker. If it’s the former, the Packers will have to decide if their young guys like Murphy, Patrick, or Amichia (maybe even Spriggs) are ready to step in and man both guard slots – as Evans could be gone after this season. The Packers aren’t big on over-paying guards, and Lang’s departure seems likely to earn the Packers a 3rd round pick.
There’s also some new arrivals that joined the team this season on one-year deals. If these guys “prove it,” the rest of the league may be willing to pay them more next year than they are getting from the Packers this year.
Davon House – The last time he left, he earned the Packers a comp pick. If he returns to form and leaves after a year, he could do the same again. It depends on if we see the guy who shut down Julio Jones in his last Packers stint or the guy who got benched and cut for ineffectiveness in his Jaguars stint.
Jahri Evans – A one year deal for an aging guy. He doesn’t look likely to get another big payday, but some team like the Lions could always do something stupid if Evans comes up big this year.
Ricky Jean Francois – Another role player who could increase his showcasability by having a good year on a prominent team. A low round pick would probably be the most he would garner, but we’ll take it.
Then, there’s some role players that would have to take it up a notch to be of value.
Richard Rodgers – If we need a lot of hail marys in Detroit, he could be our guy. Perhaps as the third tight end, he gets overlooked by defenses and wins all the red zone touchdowns… maybe…
Jayrone Elliott – Always seems on the verge of a breakout and came up with some big plays in his career. With the losses of Julius Peppers and Datone Jones, he may get enough snaps to prove something – then he would warrant some attention.
Don Barclay – Hopefully he won’t even be on the team this year. If he is, hopefully he will never see the field. If he does, hopefully he looks really good. If he does, hopefully someone overpays him and we can net another comp pick and be done with him.
Jeff Janis – Most Packer fans think Janis is worth at least a 1sr rounder, if not two. Surely, the other 31 NFL GMs and coaches are smart enough to see what idiots like Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy keep missing.
All of this is going to be based on how these guys do this year, how others on the team develop, and a host of other factors, but when you look at this year over year, you see how important comp picks are to keeping the talent pipeline flowing – it’s a lot more important than keeping aging veterans around for third contracts.