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Expect the Packers to get extra draft picks

3/23/2015

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Perhaps by the end of the day, Ted Thompson will know exactly how many selections he will take into this year's NFL draft.

As it stands now, the Green Bay Packers' general manager has seven picks, one in each round, beginning with the 30th overall selection in the draft.

As usual, the Packers almost certainly will be awarded extra selections based on their relative inactivity in free agency last year. Compensatory picks are awarded based on a team's net losses in free agency from the previous offseason.

The NFL is expected to announce the compensatory selections at the league's annual meetings, which began Monday in Phoenix.

Keep in mind that although the Packers signed Julius Peppers and Letroy Guion last March, they won't factor into the equation because they were not true unrestricted free agents. They were considered street free agents because they were released by their previous teams with time remaining on their contracts and only unrestricted free agent gains and losses are part of the compensatory pick formula.

The Packers lost four players last offseason that could be factored in. They were: center Evan Dietrich-Smith (signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), receiver James Jones (Oakland Raiders), tackle Marshall Newhouse (Cincinnati Bengals) and defensive end C.J. Wilson (Raiders). The Packers almost certainly will be compensated for losing Dietrich-Smith and Jones given that both signed multi-year deals. However, Newhouse and Wilson both signed one-year minimum contracts and might not factor.

The website OverTheCap.com projected the Packers would receive three compensatory picks -- two in the sixth round (one each for Dietrich-Smith and Jones) and one in the seventh (for Newhouse).

The highest compensatory picks come at the end of the third round.

Last year, the Packers received two compensatory picks, one in the third round and one in the fifth, after losing receiver Greg Jennings and linebacker Erik Walden the previous offseason. Thompson used those picks, which cannot be traded, to draft tight end Richard Rodgers (third round) and receiver Jared Abbrederis (fifth round).