Mark Craig: Compensatory picks great, but not for Vikings

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 3, 2014 - 11:54 PM
hide

Former Dallas Cowboys guard and Hall of Famer Larry Allen was one of the first and best compensatory picks ever, selected in the second round in 1994.

Photo: LM Otero • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Unlike their impact on some of the NFL’s perennial contenders, compensatory draft picks haven’t done much to compensate the Vikings since the concept and mysterious distribution formula were born 20 years ago.

For starters, the Vikings haven’t had a compensatory pick higher than the fourth round.

Secondly, they have had only 16 total. The Ravens, who didn’t even exist the first two years of compensating picks, have had an NFL-high 41. That’s eight more than runners-up Dallas and Green Bay.

Thirdly, three of the Vikings’ four highest compensatory picks became Shawn Worthen, Cedric James and Ed Ta’amu.

Who?

Exactly.

Worthen and James, teammates at Texas Christian, were back-to-back picks (130-131) in 2001. They lasted a combined nine games over one season. James, a receiver, was taken 103 spots higher than Cincinnati’s T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

A year later, Ta’amu, a guard from Utah, was taken 132nd overall. After being cut in training camp, he was out of football for three years before starting a lengthy Arena Football League career.

According to the NFL, compensatory picks are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. Teams losing more and/or better free agents to other teams than they acquire are compensated.

“I don’t know how the formula works, to be honest with you,” said Jon Gruden, ESPN analyst and former Super Bowl-winning coach. “But we never went into free agency saying, ‘Let’s let Bobby and Billy go so we can get a compensatory pick to replace him.’ ”

Although the formula isn’t public knowledge, it’s obvious some teams understand it well and use it to their advantage. Exhibit A: the Ravens with General Manager Ozzie Newsome.

Seven months ago, the Ravens had four picks, including three in the top four rounds. They had traded their seventh-rounder for Colts center A.Q. Shipley and their fourth- and fifth-rounders for Jaguars left tackle Eugene Monroe.

Today, through the magic and mystery of compensatory picks, the Ravens have doubled their picks to eight and their number of picks in the top four rounds to six.

Yes, 15 months after winning their second Super Bowl, the Ravens received the maximum number of four compensatory picks. They got an extra pick in the third round (No. 99), two in the fourth (Nos. 134 and 138) and one in the fifth (No. 175).

The formula was based on last offseason, when the Ravens lost four key members of their Super Bowl champion team — Paul Kruger, Ed Reed, Cary Williams and Dannell Ellerbe — to free agency while signing nobody noteworthy.

In many cases, Newsome gets more in compensatory consideration for used veterans that cost him considerably less to acquire when they were new. Ellerbe, for example, was signed as a rookie free agent, while Williams arrived via Tennessee’s practice squad.

“Our approach is we come to a threshold of what we think the player’s [maximum] value is in Baltimore,” Newsome said years ago at the NFL combine. “When it goes beyond that, then we don’t mind them going out the door.”

Compensatory picks can’t be traded. But the expectation of four compensatory picks this year is what allowed Newsome to trade his own picks for two starters, Shipley and Monroe, the eighth overall pick in 2009.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - B. Colon 6:05 PM
Washington - T. Roark
Baltimore - U. Jimenez 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy
Kansas City - Y. Ventura 6:05 PM
Cleveland - D. Salazar
Seattle - F. Hernandez 6:07 PM
Toronto - R. Dickey
Chicago WSox - S. Carroll 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Price
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 6:10 PM
Miami - H. Alvarez
Pittsburgh - G. Cole 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Wood
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - J. Cueto
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb 6:10 PM
Boston - C. Buchholz
Houston - B. Oberholtzer 7:05 PM
Texas - N. Martinez
St. Louis - S. Miller 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Arizona - A. Chafin 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
Chicago 27 FINAL
NY Jets 19
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Carolina 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Pittsburgh 6:00 PM
Columbus
Boston 6:30 PM
Montreal
Nashville 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Toronto
Detroit 7:30 PM
Chicago
San Jose 8:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Vancouver 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which struggling team is in the worst shape?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close