The Patriots were awarded two compensatory picks in the 2015 draft, one of them being the top overall choice, on Monday. With NFL owners meetings underway, the league announced the 2015 crop of compensatory draft picks awarded to teams to offset key free agent losses from the 2014 offseason.
New England will pick in the third round, 97th overall, as recompense for losing Aqib Talib to the Denver Broncos in free agency last year. Talib’s $9.5 million average per year contract made him the highest paid qualifying free agent in 2014. In addition to Talib, the loss of Brandon Spikes, LeGarrette Blount and Dane Fletcher weighed against the signings of Brandon Browner and Brandon LaFell also contributed to the Pats receiving an additional seventh-round pick based on a league formula.
The third round pick awarded on Monday gives the Super Bowl champions five picks in the Top 101: 32, 64, 96, 97 (the compensatory pick), and 101 (acquired from Tampa Bay in the Logan Mankins trade). Compensatory picks cannot be traded, per NFL rules.
The Patriots also have their own 4th round pick, Tampa Bay’s 6th round pick (acquired in the Jonathan Casillas trade) and Tennessee’s 7th round pick (acquired in the Akeem Ayers trade). The two compensatory picks give them nine total draft picks in the 2015 draft, which begins April 30th.
Patriots 2015 draft picks: 1st (32nd), 2nd (64th), 3rd (96th), 3rd (97th), 4th (101st), 4th (131st), 6th (177th), 7th (219), 7th (253)— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) March 24, 2015