The annual sting of free-agent losses brought its reward Monday as the Ravens were awarded three compensatory picks in this spring’s NFL draft.
At the league meetings in Phoenix, the NFL announced that the Ravens would receive three compensatory selections with one coming in the fourth and two in the fifth. This marks the third straight year in which Baltimore has received at least three or the maximum of four compensatory picks.
The Ravens are now scheduled to have 10 selections in the 2015 draft. They own one first, one second, one third, three fourths, three fifths, and a sixth-round pick.
After losing free agents Torrey Smith, Pernell McPhee, Owen Daniels, Darian Stewart, and Tyrod Taylor earlier this month, the Ravens learned they would officially receive the reward of three extra selections from last winter’s exodus that included defensive tackle Arthur Jones, offensive tackle Michael Oher, cornerback Corey Graham, and safety James Ihedigbo. General manager Ozzie Newsome signed only one unrestricted free agent, safety Darian Stewart, last offseason.
Though the detailed formula has never been paid public, compensatory pick determinations are based on the salary, playing time, and postseason honors earned by unrestricted free agents who left their teams in the previous offseason. Because the Ravens lost four notable unrestricted free agents and signed only one, they received three picks.
The Ravens could have received a fourth compensatory pick for the departure of tight end Ed Dickson, but it fell outside the cap of 32 total picks awarded to teams.
Teams are not allowed to trade compensatory picks, but they serve as collateral when looking to deal regular picks to either move up the draft board or to acquire veteran players. The Ravens have used regular draft picks to acquire two starting offensive linemen — left tackle Eugene Monroe and center Jeremy Zuttah — in the last two years.
Since the program was introduced in 1994, the Ravens have led the NFL in receiving 44 compensatory picks as the organization has often refrained from signing many unrestricted free agents over the years while losing many of their own. Green Bay is a distant second with 35 compensatory picks over that period of time.
In recent years, Newsome has used compensatory choices on the likes of former Ravens linebacker Pernell McPhee, current starting fullback Kyle Juszczyk, and current right tackle Rick Wagner. In the 2014 draft, the Ravens selected tight end Crockett Gillmore, defensive end Brent Urban, running back Lorenzo Taliaferro, and guard John Urschel with compensatory picks.
Below is a history of the Ravens’ compensatory picks since 1996 with the round in which the player was selected noted in parentheses:
1997: LB Cornell Brown (sixth), QB Wally Richardson (seventh), S Ralph Staten (seventh), DT Leland Taylor (seventh)
1998: TE Cam Qualey (seventh)
1999: G Edwin Mulitalo (fourth)
2002: WR Javin Hunter (sixth), RB Chester Taylor (sixth), S Chad Williams (sixth)
2003: FB Ovie Mughelli (fourth), OT Tony Pashos (fifth), C Mike Mabry (seventh), S Antwoine Sanders (seventh)
2004: WR Clarence Moore (sixth), WR Derek Abney (seventh), G Brian Rimpf (seventh)
2005: QB Derek Anderson (sixth)
2006: RB P.J. Daniels (fourth), TE Quinn Sypniewski (fifth), P Sam Koch (sixth), CB Derrick Martin (sixth)
2007: LB Antwan Barnes (fourth), FB Le’Ron McClain (fourth), QB Troy Smith (fifth), LB Prescott Burgess (sixth)
2008: OL Oniel Cousins (third), OL David Hale (fourth), S Haruki Nakamura (sixth), RB Allen Patrick (seventh)
2011: CB Chykie Brown (fifth), DE Pernell McPhee (fifth)
2012: S Christian Thompson (fourth), CB Asa Jackson (fifth)
2013: FB Kyle Juszczyk (fourth), OT Rick Wagner (fifth), OL Ryan Jensen (sixth), CB Marc Anthony (seventh)
2014: TE Crockett Gillmore (third), DE Brent Urban (fourth), RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (fourth), G John Urschel (fifth)