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Atlanta Falcons await compensatory picks

3/24/2014

Later today, the Atlanta Falcons will find how many compensatory draft picks they'll be awarded for the 2014 NFL draft.

The free-agent losses the Falcons are expected to be compensated for are cornerback Brent Grimes (Miami) and defensive end Vance Walker (Oakland). Pass-rusher John Abraham (Arizona) does not count in the equation because the Falcons cut him.

Last year, the Falcons tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the most compensatory draft picks with four. Those picks were used on tight end Levine Toilolo in the fourth round, and three seventh-rounders: safeties Kemal Ishmael and Zeke Motta and quarterback Sean Renfree.

The Falcons, who lost Tony Gonzalez to retirement, have high expectations for Toilolo at tight end, which emphasizes the importance of such a compensatory pick. Either Ishmael or Motta could have an increased role in 2014 just based on the lack of depth at safety, although the Falcons will have to address that issue in the draft.

During this year's NFL combine, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he anticipated receiving two to three compensatory draft picks this year. The Falcons currently have a pick in every round and own the sixth overall pick in the draft.