Compensatory Picks Will Help Packers Fill Holes

Green Bay is expected to receive three compensatory draft picks, including a fourth-rounder for Blake Martinez.
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GREEN BAY, Wis. – Compensatory picks are the NFL’s version of recycling.

The Green Bay Packers got several seasons of quality play out of right tackle Bryan Bulaga, inside linebacker Blake Martinez and outside linebacker Kyler Fackrell. Having cast them aside in free agency last offseason, the Packers will be given three compensatory draft picks in exchange.

In the latest comp-pick projections from OverTheCap.com’s Nick Korte, the Packers will gain a fourth-round pick for Martinez, a fifth-round pick for Bulaga and a sixth-round pick for Fackrell.

Compensatory picks are awarded mostly based on average annual salary, with playing time and postseason honors a smaller part of the equation. With a three-year deal worth $30.75 million and more than 1,000 defensive snaps, Martinez fell squarely in the fourth-round bracket. He just missed his career highs with 151 tackles and nine tackles for losses.

The interesting one is Bulaga. With his three-year, $30 million contract, he’d generally be worth a fourth-round pick. However, as Korte cited from the compensatory-pick rules, “no club shall be entitled to a compensatory draft selection before the end of the fifth round for any compensatory free agent (excluding quarterbacks) with 10 or more accrued seasons at the time of signing with his new club.” Bulaga had completed 10 seasons when he signed with the Chargers. He started 10 games in a season sidetracked by knee, back and foot injuries.

Fackrell’s one-year, $4.6 million contract put him in the middle of the sixth-round tier. He had four sacks and played 56 percent of the defensive snaps.

With that, the Packers should have 10 picks in April’s draft, including No. 29 of the first round. Green Bay used its first pick on a defensive player in eight consecutive drafts until grabbing quarterback Jordan Love in the first round last year.