Packers Projected to Net Multiple Additional Draft Picks in 2021

Packers Comp Picks 2021

Getty Preston Smith #91 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates at the end of his team's win over the Denver Broncos at Lambeau Field on September 22, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Bryan Bulaga, Blake Martinez and Kyler Fackrell will all spend the 2020 season with a team other than the Green Bay Packers for the first time in their respective NFL careers, but they aren’t leaving without netting the Packers a little something extra.

According to Nick Korte of OverTheCap.com, the Packers are in line to receive three compensatory draft picks for the 2021 NFL Draft after losing the three high-value free agents, including a fourth-round pick for Martinez, a fifth-round pick for Bulaga and a sixth-round selection for Fackrell.

The New York Giants agreed to terms with both Martinez and Fackrell ahead of Wednesday’s official start to free agency to add a pair of potential starters to their linebacker corps, while the Los Angeles Chargers inked an impressive deal with Bulaga that provides them with a new starting right tackle. None of the three were surprise departures, especially after the Packers signed inside linebacker Christian Kirksey and right tackle Ricky Wagner, but there is value in letting go.

Neither Kirksey or Wagner counts against the Packers in terms of compensatory picks as both were released by their former teams and were not considered true unrestricted free agents, per ESPN’s Rob Demovsky.

The scales could still shift if the Packers add any unrestricted free agents throughout the offseason. While teams have been clear to negotiate deals with agents since Monday, the restricted were lifted on free agency at 3 p.m. CT on Wednesday.

As of right now, the Packers still have their standard seven selections for the 2021 draft, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see that number fluctuate either direction with general manager Brian Gutekunst’s previous pick-trading tendencies. Don’t forget: the Packers currently have 10 total picks in next month’s draft acquired through deals over the past two years.

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Packers’ Priorities for 2020 Draft Still Unclear

The hope was the Packers’ moves in free agency would shed light on how they plan to approach the 2020 NFL Draft next month, but things are still something of a mystery with just two off-the-street signings as of early Wednesday evening.

While it stands to reason the Packers believe they have found starters for next season in Kirksey and Wagner, there are enough concerns associated with each of them that it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Packers invest one of their early-round draft picks on another linebacker or offensive tackle. The contract terms for both Kirksey and Wagner are also short with options to part ways after a single season, which makes adding developmental talents behind them a logical approach.

At the same time, the Packers have other needs to address for 2020, including finding a new offensive playmaker — likely a wide receiver, maybe a tight end — and surrounding star nose tackle Kenny Clark with better talent on their defensive line. Gutekunst has commented on the depth of the upcoming receiver class in a way that suggests the Packers are taking a serious look at drafting one in an early round, but he has also backed the philosophy of taking the best player available.

The Packers’ first pick is at No. 30 overall, while they also have three picks in the sixth round and two picks in the seventh round that could be used to help the Packers move up to a better spot early on.

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