It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the Green Bay Packers were awarded zero compensatory draft picks for the 2020 NFL Draft on Tuesday. This is now the second straight year the team did receive a single compensatory draft pick.
Compensatory picks are awarded to teams who lose more players than they sign in free agency. The formula is used to help offset potential losses a team may have suffered on the open market with the best compensatory picks starting at the end of the third round.
Considering the moves General Manager M Brian Gutekunst made last offseason, it’s not hard to see why Green Bay failed to luck out this year. At the same time, it’s especially unfortunate for the Packers who have typically done well their “gifted” selections with the guidance of former GM Ted Thompson.
When they were awarded the maximum amount of compensatory picks in 2018 (four), Gutekunst used his first on fourth-round wide receiver J’Mon Moore. It was good for the value pick even though Moore did not pan out. Their next compensatory picks were punter JK Scott and wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the fifth and then wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown in the sixth.
So far, Scott has arguably been the most successful recent compensatory pick for Gutekunst. However, the team found some late-round gems in previous attempts under Thompson.
Believe it or not, former All-Pro guard Josh Sitton was a compensatory pick back in 2008. Sitton helped Green Bay to their victory in Super Bowl XLV and was also elected to four Pro Bowls. The next compensatory pick to have a noteworthy impact is the recently retired corner Davon House who the team drafted in 2011. The following year, they hit again by taking defensive tackle Mike Daniels.
The Packers’ next find didn’t come until a few years later when they took tight end Richard Rodgers in the third round. Perhaps not a great pick but still solid.
Of more recent success, both defensive end Dean Lowry and inside linebacker Blake Martinez were a nice pair of compensatory picks in 2016. Martinez has been one of the NFL’s top tacklers over the last three seasons, while Lowry just signed a three-year contract extension before the 2019 season thanks to his role as a rotational player.
Last but certainly not least, with the team’s latest and greatest compensatory pick from 2017, Green Bay found running-back Aaron Jones during the fifth round. Jones’ selection has paid off huge for the Packers following a breakout season last year in which he posted career-highs in rushing attempts, rushing yards, receptions, receiving yards, and total touchdowns.
Gutekunst has done a nice job of constructing the roster thus far, however, he should take a page out of Thompson’s book when it comes to making compensatory picks.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.