Are Colts in line to receive any 2022 compensatory picks?

·3 min read

The Indianapolis Colts won’t be on the board for the first time during the 2022 NFL draft until the middle of the second round. However, there is a chance they wind up adding a pair of picks to their total number of selections thanks to the compensatory formula.

As things currently stand, the Colts have six selections coming up in the 2022 NFL draft. They wound up trading the No. 16 overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in the deal for Carson Wentz and when the draft arrives, the Colts will be without a first-round pick in three of the last four drafts (2019-2022).

However, the Colts may be entitled to some compensation. According to Over The Cap, they are projected to receive two compensatory picks coming in the fifth and sixth rounds (h/t Jake Arthur of Horseshoe Huddle).

(Courtesy of Over The Cap)

Over the Cap is projecting that the Colts will receive compensatory picks after losing defensive tackle Denico Autry (Titans) and quarterback Jacoby Brissett (Dolphins) to free agency during the 2021 offseason.

You can also see that the Colts were in line to receive another compensatory pick in the seventh round when linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. signed with the Cleveland Browns but it was canceled out by the signing of offensive tackle Sam Tevi.

The formula can be confusing when it comes to the compensatory picks. Over The Cap did their best to explain it in their own terms:

In plain English, if a team loses more players that qualify as CFAs than it signs during free agency, that team is eligible to be awarded compensatory picks in the following NFL draft.

It is important to note that only certain players qualify for the compensatory formula. Those are only players whose contracts expire. Players who are cut are the most common example of free agents ineligible to become CFAs, but other methods of disqualification, such as a Restricted Free Agent not given a tender, also exist. In its most general sense, players only become Compensatory Free Agents if they are free to leave their old team against that team’s will.

We know how much general manager Chris Ballard emphasizes the draft when it comes to roster building. Even though the Colts have only had two compensatory picks during his tenure (2017, 2019), this may soften the blow just a bit being without a first-round pick again.

This isn’t official but given that it’s based on a formula, there is a solid chance the Colts will get two extra picks in the 2022 draft.

The league will announce the compensatory picks sometime during February or March.

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