Even with the recent flip of a fifth-round pick for left guard Ben Grubbs, it looks like the Chiefs should have plenty of draft picks to play around with this year.
The NFL announced Monday that the Chiefs will receive four compensatory picks in this year’s draft — a third (98th overall), two fifths (172nd and 173rd) and a sixth (217th) — bringing their overall total to 10.
The league awarded 32 total draft picks to 14 teams based on the result of last year’s free agency period.
That’s when the Chiefs lost seven players who started multiple games for them in 2013: left tackle Branden Albert (who signed with Miami), receiver Dexter McCluster (Tennessee), guard Geoff Schwartz (New York Giants), guard Jon Asamoah (Atlanta), inside linebacker Akeem Jordan (Washington), defensive end Tyson Jackson (Atlanta) and safety Quintin Demps (New York Giants). According to the league, every player but Jordan figured into the compensatory formula that awarded the four picks to the Chiefs.
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Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said general manager John Dorsey is excited to have a full cupboard of draft picks at his disposal for the first time since he arrived in winter 2013. The Chiefs dealt away their second-round picks in 2013 and 2014 for quarterback Alex Smith.
“He’s been excited about it for about a year,” Hunt said of Dorsey, with a laugh. “Certainly a year ago, when we lost some players that were an important part of the franchise, that’s always a bitter pill to swallow. But you do look forward to, a year down the road, getting those compensatory picks.
Last offseason, the Chiefs signed defensive tackle Vance Walker, inside linebacker Joe Mays, guard Jeff Linkenbach and cornerback Chris Owens. Walker and Mays were released this offseason, while Linkenbach and Owens signed one-year deals and were not re-signed.
Together, they started 11 games for the Chiefs, while the seven primary players the team lost started 53.
“John, like most GMs and certainly like I believe philosophically, likes building the team through the draft,” Hunt said. “So when you have those extra picks, it sure makes it easier.”
The last time the Chiefs had this many picks was 2008, when they came away with Albert, Jamaal Charles, Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr.
“That was probably the best draft we’d had since ... some people compared it back into the 60s,” Hunt said. “It had been a long time since we had such a good draft, and a lot of it was having those extra picks.”
Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four.
Compensatory picks are positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost. This is determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors that was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula, however.
The complete list of compensatory picks awarded this year can be found here.