NFL awards additional draft picks to 15 teams


Aside from Philadelphians, who are still celebrating the Eagles’ first championship since 1960, most NFL fans have moved on from a season of disappointment and controversy.

But there’s no offseason for their teams.

Believe it or not, the NFL scouting combine starts next week, and the draft is only two months away.

On Friday, 15 teams learned they’ll have extra opportunities to claim the college players they covet.

The league awarded 32 compensatory draft picks to franchises that lost players in free agency last year.

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Faring the best are the Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers.

The Bengals, who lost All-Pro tackle Andrew Whitworth, among others, added picks in the third (No. 100 overall), fifth (No. 170) and seventh (Nos. 252, 253) rounds.

The Cowboys received one in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth (Nos. 137, 171, 173 and 208).

The Packers’ haul is very similar (Nos. No. 133, 172, 174 and 207) after they lost free agents such as T.J. Lang and Micah Hyde.

The Arizona Cardinals also fared well, adding selections in the third (No. 97), fourth (No. 134) and seventh (No. 254) rounds as compensation for losing All-Pro defensive tackle Calais Campbell and other starters.

The Oakland Raiders and new coach Jon Gruden received four compensatory picks, all in the sixth round (Nos. 210, 212, 216 and 217).

The Baltimore Ravens have made an art out of working free agency to win compensatory picks, hauling in a league-high 49 since the system was implemented. This time, however, they received just one, a sixth-rounder (No. 215 overall), for losing offensive tackle Ricky Wagner.

Atlanta’s seventh-round compensatory pick will be the last of the draft, giving the Falcons “Mr. Irrelevant.”

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Plenty of great NFL players have arrived via compensatory picks, including Hall of Famers Larry Allen (second round, No. 46 overall in 1994) and Brian Dawkins (second round, No. 61 in 1996).

Even late selections have paid off. The New England Patriots used a sixth-round compensatory pick (No. 199) in 2000 to select a quarterback out of Michigan named Tom Brady.

Dallas fans will have a great opportunity to watch Jerry Jones and company try to hit the jackpot with the Cowboys’ four compensatory picks. The NFL draft will be held April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium.

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Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He has worked as an editor or reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years.
Todd Windsor is a senior story editor at The Western Journal. He was born in Baltimore and grew up in Maryland. He graduated from the University of Miami (he dreams of wearing the turnover chain) and has worked as an editor and reporter in news and sports for more than 30 years. Todd started at The Miami News (defunct) and went on to work at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., the St. Petersburg (now Tampa Bay) Times, The Baltimore Sun and Space News before joining Liftable Media in 2016. He and his beautiful wife have two amazing daughters and a very old Beagle.
Bachelor of Science from the University of Miami
Phoenix, Arizona
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