The Washington Redskins' newfound commitment to finding new talent through the draft may get a lot easier.
According to a source very good at predicting which teams will get which compensatory picks in the upcoming NFL draft the Redskins may receive as many as three extra selections in the April 26-27 draft. One might be a third-round pick.
Compensatory picks are award based on a complex formula devised by the NFL. Colonel Sanders did not guard his secret recipe any more closely than the NFL guards the exact formula.
We do know that it's based on the net value of unrestricted free agents lost and free agents signed during the previous offseason. That net value is determined by three factors—the value of the contract signed, the amount of playing time the player got and the player's postseason awards.
So, a Pro Bowl player who signed a fat contract and started 16 games is worth more in the equation than a one who signed a middling deal and spent half the year on injured reserve.
Beyond that, the details are unknown. Based off of the little that is known and extrapolating patterns from the picks awarded in the past, a few intrepid souls have cracked the code and have done a remarkable job in predicting the selections.
One of these niche within a niche experts goes by Adam and he prefers to post the results of his research on various message boards. His forum may be unorthodox, but his accuracy is excellent when it comes to predicting the compensatory picks.
He took the facts and figures regarding Derrick Dockery, T. J. Duckett, Warrick Holdman, Kenny Wright (the qualifying free agents the Redskins lost), and London Fletcher (the sole qualifying FA the Skins signed), applied his interpretation of the formula and he came up with one compensatory pick following the third round and two more following the seventh round for the Redskins.
The three extra picks would give the Redskins nine selections in the 2008 draft. They have six of their seven original picks (the fourth round pick is going to Denver in the last installment of the Duckett trade).
Washington hasn't had that many picks in a draft since 2002, when they had ten picks. Before that, you have to go back to 1993 when they also had nine (in an eight-round draft).
A team can't trade a compensatory pick, but having some can make it easier to deal off some of your original selections. Vinny Cerrato has indicated that the team would like to hold on to all of its picks but this would give them some flexibility should a beneficial opportunity come along.
The official announcement of the compensatory picks will be made at the owners' meeting in late March.