Before we get started, let me put a disclaimer on this entire story: This is coming from a message board and isn't based on a 'credible' source or on any concrete evidence. Projecting the compensatory picks handed out by the NFL is a difficult task because they do not disclose the formula with which they calculate the picks. That being said here's what this individual is claiming.......
First here's a quick explanation on compensatory picks (from who else, Wiki):
In addition to the 32 picks in each round, there are a total of 32 picks awarded at the ends of Rounds 3 through 7. These picks, known as "compensatory picks," are awarded to teams that have lost more qualifying free agents than they gained the previous year in free agency. Teams that gain and lose the same number of players but lose higher-valued players than they gain also can be awarded a pick, but only in the seventh round, after the other compensatory picks. Compensatory picks cannot be traded, and the placement of the picks is determined by a proprietary formula based on the player's salary, playing time, and postseason honors with his new team, with salary being the primary factor. So, for example, a team that lost a linebacker who signed for $2.5 million per year in free agency might get a sixth-round compensatory pick, while a team that lost a wide receiver who signed for $5 million per year might receive a fourth-round pick........Compensatory picks are awarded each year at the NFL annual meeting which is held at the end of March; typically, about three or four weeks before the draft.
Ok, so in doing some research I came across a message board where a user claims to have a pretty good resume predicting how these picks are distributed (again these are his own claims). Anyways he claims to be exactly right about 75% of the time and off by one round another 12.5% which would put him reasonably accurate about close to 90% of the time over the past eight years (you can read his entire description here).
His prediction for the Cardinals is especially promising as he projects us to recieve a 3rd round pick for the loss of Calvin Pace and at worst a 4th round. An extra third round pick would be a welcome surprise because it would give them four picks inside the top 100 (or very close to top 100) and it would allow them some flexibility if they want to move up to grab a player using thier orginal third round pick. Either way it's good to hear that the loss of Calvin Pace will be beneficial (at least in a small way) to the Cardinals' future.
Noteable Compensatory Picks (of the 3rd and 4th rounds) of the Past:
- LeRon McClain (4th Round by the Ravens in 2007) - Made the Pro Bowl as a FB this season
- Willie Colon (4th Round by the Steelers in 2006) - Starting right tackle for the past two seasons.
- Domenik Hixon (4th Round by the Broncos in 2006) - 43 receptions for 596 yards and 2 TDs for Giants in 2008.
- Dominique Foxworth (3rd Round by the Broncos in 2005) - Started 28 games over four seasons and signed a big deal with the Ravens this off season.
- Leroy Hill (3rd Round by Seahawks in 2005) - Three year starter and 329 tackles in four seasons.
Maurice Clarett (3rd Round by Broncos in 2005) - Well he's notable but not for a good reason.
- Landon Johnson (3rd Round by Bengals in 2004) - Four year starter for the Bengals with 394 tackles in four seasons before going to Carolina.