Welcome to the NFL’s World of Compensation Picks. That NFL has a formula for everything, except what to do if a regular season game gets postponed and you don’t know how to determine home field advantage….
Currently, here are the extra draft picks the Rams are projected to have.
Rams 2023 compensatory picks
- 5th round pick
- 5th round pick
- 6th round pick
- 7th round pick
Before we explain how the process works, it is clear that these picks have value. Draft picks, especially late-round ones, are the best source of cheap labor for an NFL team. The Rams are top heavy with their Core Four of stars, they need good young talent to emerge.
So how many picks do the Rams have and where? I’m sorry, but it is complicated.
Compensatory Picks For Dummies Like Me
Ok, you know that every year teams lose free agents. Good teams like the Rams in 2022 lose more than they get, so the NFL helps them make up for it with extra picks in the NFL Draft a.k.a. Compensatory Picks. Last year the big loss for the Rams was Von Miller (to the Bills), and they also lost Darious Williams (Jaguars), Austin Corbett (Panthers), Sebastian Joseph-Day (Chargers) and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Texans).
They signed free agent wide receiver Allen Robinson and he was the missing link to unlocking a thrilling passing attack (editors note: not so much).
So the Rams lost five guys, signed one.
Ding Ding! That means they are eligible to get four compensatory picks in the NFL Draft because they lost four more than they gained. The max teams can get is four.
That’s Step One.
So The Rams Get Four More Picks, Right?
Right, but exactly determining where those picks fall is a top-secret NFL formula. No, I am just kidding, internet sleuths with way too much time on their hands have figured it out.
The NFL only gives out 32 compensatory picks for players each year (there’s a second tier of comp picks for minority coach hires, the Rams don’t have any of those for 2023, but they might for 2024. Explaining this would be a whole other blog).
Each one of those free agents is assigned a value based on a player’s average yearly salary, snap counts and any post-season awards.
What determines the comp picks are the top 32 players based on that formula. We can already tell just based on salary that the Rams four losses (Miller and Robinson cancel each other out) rank in the top 32.
Darious Williams got $10 mil a year, Austin Corbett got $8.75 million a year, Joseph-Day $8 million a year, and Okoronkwo got $3.5 million.
But Then It’s Time For The Formula
Average salary per year gives us the starting point for the compensatory picks, but it’s not the whole thing.
Here is the full formula taken from Overthecap.com…God Bless these guys.
- Start with the Average Per Year (APY) of the contract signed.
- Subtract from the APY any money that the compensatory formula does not count.
- Rank these players by adjusted APY in descending order and assign points to each player.
- Add anywhere from 25 to 100 points for players who played a percentage of snaps on offense or defense in the range of 25 percent to 100 percent. (Kickers and punters are given a different point addition unrelated to snap counts).
- Add 20 or 5 points for postseason honors as determined by the AP’s All-Pro list and the Pro Football Writer’s Association All NFL/All-Conference list.
So now you know.
This is where it becomes nebulous, because of snap counts and awards. Some guys are still playing in the playoffs, like Williams for the Jags. Corbett played almost every snap for the Panthers (that means he goes up in value), Joseph-Day around 60 percent for the Chargers (meh) and Okoronkwo about 30 percent.
The final, really final, order of the NFL Draft and all the Rams compensatory picks isn’t announced by the NFL until after the season is over, usually late February or early March.
So Where Do The Rams Pick ? And Why?
The Rams do not have a first-round pick in 2023, because of the Matthew Stafford trade with the Lions. This we know.
They have their original second round pick (Number 37) and original third round pick (No. 70). They traded away their original fourth-round pick to the Patriots for Sony Michel.
Now is where the comp picks start coming in. According to the guys at Tankathon.com, the Rams are projected to pick 168th in the fifth round (my guess is a comp pick for Corbett) and 172 (a comp pick for Williams). They’ll have their original sixth round pick (182). They get the Titans sixth round pick (189) in the Robert Woods deal and pick 191 from the Packers in the Corey Bojorquez deal. They are projected to get a comp pick at 211 for Joseph-Day.
In the seventh round the Rams have their original pick at 225 and will get a comp pick for Okoronkwo at 252.
Again, the final formula and rankings to determine the value of these free agents isn’t determined until the end of the season (for the Rams at this point, it means how much Williams plays in the playoff). The NFL will announce the final draft order, and then it’s up to the Rams to make all their picks count.