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Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Could Cardinals add third-rounder?

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

It's impossible to set the full 2010 NFL draft order until the league reveals its compensatory choices at its spring meetings later this month.

In the meantime, AdamJT13 is back with his annual forecasts. AdamJT13 comes close to projecting which teams will receive additional choices and in what rounds, and he explains the process in greater detail than the league, which hasn't revealed the exact formula used for determining which teams get what picks.

The way AdamJT13 sees things, the Cardinals have an outside chance at gaining a compensatory choice as early as the third round, depending upon how much the league values fullback Jason Wright's contributions last season.

AdamJT13: "If Jason Wright does not qualify, Arizona will receive a comp pick for Antonio Smith in either the third round or fourth round, most likely in the third, after Cincinnati's comp pick for T.J. Houshmandzadeh."

That would be significant for the Cardinals, who already hold two third-round choices. Wright played not quite 9 percent of the offensive snaps and about two-thirds of the special-teams plays for Arizona last season. I'll see what I can uncover about how Wright might be valued for these purposes.

AdamJT13 expects Wright to qualify because Aaron Glenn, a player valued similarly last offseason, qualified under the NFL's formula.

One note about compensatory picks: Teams cannot trade them.

Also: The Seahawks and Cardinals weren't just helping themselves when they signed unrestricted free agents Houshmandzadeh and Bryant McFadden, respectively, last offseason. They might have also helped those players' former teams land extra selections in the 2010 NFL draft, according to the projections.

The Bengals and Steelers could be in line for some of the better compensatory draft choices awarded each spring to offset net losses in free agency.

AdamJT13 is also projecting extra third-round picks for Tennessee, Cincinnati and Atlanta. He projects two extra fifth-rounders for Pittsburgh and one for Atlanta. The signings of McFadden and Houshmandzadeh played into the projections.