The Green Bay Packers were given four compensatory draft choices Friday, giving them a total of 12 draft picks in the upcoming 2018 NFL draft.
The NFL distributed compensatory draft picks to teams who lost players to free agency last offseason. Teams who signed unrestricted free agents who were not cut by their previous teams received less picks.
The Packers received four extra draft picks for the upcoming draft because of a long list of players that they let out the door to free agency. Receiving four picks was tied for the most in the NFL along with 14 other teams.
The Packers earned a fourth-round pick, two fifth-round picks, and one sixth-round pick in addition to the picks they already own in each round. The team were awarded these picks because of the losses of Micah Hyde, T.J. Lang, Julius Peppers, Jared Cook, JC Tretter and Eddie Lacy to free agency.
The NFL did not count the team’s signing of Martellus Bennett in the calculation of the draft pick distribution. Bennett infamously was released by the team less than one season into his lucrative three-year contract he signed as an unrestricted free agent last offseason.
Bennett then frustrated Packers fans after he joined the Patriots off the waiver wire, and appeared in one game before being placed on season-ending injured reserve with a shoulder injury. Bennett was set to have surgery on that same shoulder as a member of the Packers, but joined the Patriots and insisted on playing.
As new general manager Brian Gutekunst tries to rebuild the team’s depleted roster, having four more swings on raw draft prospects will certainly help his cause. The Packers pick 14th overall in this coming year’s draft, the highest draft position the team has had since 2009, when Ted Thompson selected B.J. Raji ninth overall.
The 2018 NFL draft starts on April 26 in Dallas, Texas.