The NFL parity pendulum swings back and forth. Last offseason, the Baltimore Ravens were unable to retain offensive guard Kelechi Osemele due to salary cap constraints. Now they are expected to receive the fourth best compensatory pick in the 2017 NFL draft in exchange for losing one of their best players to free agency.
Osemele signed a five-year, $59 million contract with the Oakland Raiders. The size of his contract, coupled with his first team All-Pro 2016 season has led Over the Cap to predict the Ravens will receive a third round compensatory selection.
Over the Cap expects nine compensatory third round draft picks to be awarded - Brock Osweiler, Olivier Vernon Josh Norman, Kelechi Osemele, Janoris Jenkins, Malik Jackson, Alex Mack, Sean Smith and Bruce Irvin.
Compensatory draft picks can be traded for the first time this year. Los Angeles and Cleveland have already traded their expected third round comp picks.
The third rounder for Osemele is the only extra selection the Ravens are expected to receive this year. Their free agent signings of Eric Weddle and Ben Watson cancelled out any compensation they would have received for losing Matt Schaub and Courtney Upshaw.
Ozzie Newsome and the Ravens have been the masters of compensation pick strategy. They have been awarded 47 compensatory selections, the most in the NFL since the league implemented the system in 1994. The next closest team is the Packers with 37.
Notable players drafted with the Ravens comp picks include Kyle Juszczyk, Ricky Wagner, Pernell McPhee, Le’Ron McClain Sam Koch and Edwin Mulitalo. The Raiders took quarterback Conor Cook with the 100th pick in the 2016 draft.