AFC North: 2014 compensatory picks

The Steelers have nine picks in the 2014 NFL draft after adding three compensatory selections based on free-agent losses last year.

The Steelers were awarded third-round, fifth-round and sixth-round picks Monday by the NFL. They effectively recovered the pick they traded last year when they dealt their 2014 third-round selection for the Browns’ fourth-round pick.

The Steelers used the pick to draft safety Shamarko Thomas.

The Steelers’ received the highest compensatory pick as their third-round selection is 97th overall. The other two picks they were awarded are 173rd and 215th overall, respectively.

Wide receiver Mike Wallace, cornerback Keenan Lewis and running back Rashard Mendenhall were among the players the Steelers lost via free agency last year.

The extra picks come at a good time for the Steelers.

General manager Kevin Colbert has said this is the deepest draft he has seen since he broke into the NFL, and the Steelers have to replenish a defense that is in transition. It's also a team that has needs on offense.

The Steelers have a pick in each of the seven rounds. They have two selections apiece in the fifth and sixth rounds of the draft.
CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals were awarded two compensatory picks for the upcoming NFL draft, the league announced from its owners meetings Monday.

Those particular selections will come in the sixth and seventh rounds of the draft that will be held in New York May 8-10. In addition to their predetermined seven picks, the Bengals will now have two selections each in the sixth and seventh rounds, pushing their draft total to nine. The last time the Bengals had nine picks in one draft was 2010, when they selected tight end Jermaine Gresham in the first round.

Last year, the Bengals had 10 selections either through trades or the compensatory pick process.

Teams are awarded compensatory draft choices based upon what happens in the previous free-agency period. Teams that lose more or better free agents than they acquire in the previous year are eligible to receive compensatory draft picks, as long as those free agents are among the top 32 compensatory free agents in the league that year. Since the Bengals lost one player (Brian Leonard) in 2013 who fell outside that top 32-player range, they were not awarded a compensatory pick for him.

The players who were covered based on the league's stipulations of compensatory free agents were Josh Brown, Bruce Gradkowski, Manny Lawson, Pat Sims and Dan Stuka. Since those five players were only replaced by three free agents in Josh Johnson, Mike Pollak and Alex Smith, the Bengals were only allowed two compensatory picks.

Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The NFL Management Council came up with the formula, and it's one that does not cover every free agent lost or signed by a club. The compensatory picks themselves can only be made in rounds three through seven.

Offensive linemen Reid Fragel and T.J. Johnson were Cincinnati's two compensatory pick selections last year. Fragel was eventually released, and Johnson still is on roster as a backup center. This year's compensatory picks will be the 212th and 252nd overall draft choices.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Baltimore Ravens received the maximum four compensatory picks, tying the New York Jets for the most in the NFL.

The Ravens were awarded extra picks in the third round (99th overall), fourth round (134th and 138th) and fifth round (175th overall). This was the best-case scenario for the Ravens, who surprisingly received a third-round pick (likely for losing linebacker Paul Kruger) and a fifth-rounder for safety Ed Reed, who was eventually cut by the Houston Texans.

Now, the Ravens have a total of eight draft picks in the 2014 draft: first round (one pick), second round (one), third round (two), fourth round (two), fifth round (one) and sixth round (one). It is believed that the Ravens will receive their seventh-round pick from the Miami Dolphins for offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie in 2015, although no team official will confirm it.

The Ravens have received 41 compensatory picks since they were first awarded in 1994. That's eight more than any other team in the NFL.