Steelers draft picks set after NFL omits them from list of compensatory picks
Don’t look now, but the NFL draft is only nine weeks away. And now the Pittsburgh Steelers officially know exactly at which spots they will be selecting.
With the league’s release of awarded compensatory picks Friday – the Steelers did not receive any picks – the final order of selection is known for the April 25-27 draft in Nashville, Tenn.
After having the best record of any team that missed the playoffs last season at 9-6-1, the Steelers are slotted to pick 20th in the first round. Generally, that would have the Steelers picking at the 20th slot in each round of the draft, but several factors — such as compensatory picks and forfeited picks from the supplemental draft — can amend that.
Trades, of course, can alter draft order, too. The Steelers made three such deals in the past that affect where they will pick on Day 3 of the draft. They swapped their fifth-round pick for the Oakland Raiders’ sixth-round pick to acquire Ryan Switzer last August. They picked up a seventh-round pick as part of the 2017 J.J. Wilcox deal, and they surrendered a seventh-round pick as part of the Sammie Coates trade to Cleveland in 2017.
In the end, the Steelers have one selection in every round except for the fifth (none) and sixth (two). From where they’d be picking, if there were no trades, they dropped 17 spots as the result of the Switzer trade and gained a net 15 spots when the Wilcox and Coates deals are accounted for.
The New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and Washington Redskins were the biggest beneficiaries of this season’s compensatory-pick allotment, with four picks each. To determine which teams get which picks, the league uses a complicated formula that takes into account free agents (from the year before) lost versus those gained, accounting for the size of the contracts awarded to each.
Fifteen teams were awarded at least one pick, including three to AFC North rival Baltimore and one to Cincinnati. New England and the Los Angeles Rams each received two extra picks at the end of the third round.
This will be the second consecutive draft that the Steelers will not have a compensatory pick. They have traditionally been one of the teams that has most benefited from the system that began with the advent of unrestricted free agency in 1993.
The Steelers have had 32 compensatory picks over the past 26 drafts; just six teams have had more.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .