Tampa Bay Buccaneers

More to Work With

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The Bucs' most recent compensatory pick, in 2007, produced RB Kenneth Darby, who is now a reserve for the St. Louis Rams


Every little bit helps.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have worked hard to amass 10 selections in the 2010 NFL Draft, which will distribute what many consider the strongest class of prospects in a long time. Now more good news: That bounty has grown to 11 picks.

On Monday, the NFL made its annual announcement of the compensatory draft pick pool, which disperses 32 extra picks around the league based on net losses in the previous year's free agency period. As the name suggests, the idea of the system is to use the draft to compensate teams whose rosters took a hit in free agency the year before.

Compensatory picks are added to the end of rounds three through seven, and they cannot be traded. The Buccaneers were awarded an extra selection at the end of the seventh round, number 253 overall. The pick is very near the end of the draft - the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions will finish the seventh round with their own compensatory picks following the Bucs' final choice.

Under terms of the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors. The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council. Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.

Only four players figured into the formula for the Bucs' net gain or loss in free agency in 2009. Tampa Bay lost two unrestricted free agents in cornerback Phillip Buchanon and defensive tackle Jovan Haye and signed two in quarterback Byron Leftwich and running back Derrick Ward.

The number of picks a team receives equals the net loss of compensatory free agents up to a maximum of four. Simple math puts the Bucs at even in the formula, but there's a little more nuance to the NFL's approach. The Bucs were one of three teams (also Oakland and Miami) that received a compensatory pick even though they did not suffer a net loss of compensatory free agents in 2009. Under the formula, the compensatory free agents lost by the Bucs, Raiders and Dolphins were ranked higher than the ones they signed (by a specified point differential based upon salary and performance).

Also, Detroit and St. Louis were awarded one pick each at the end of the seventh round in order to bring the total number of compensatory picks to 32. Those freebies are all that kept the Buccaneers from being in position to draft "Mr. Irrelevant" for the first time since 1993 (punter Daron Alcorn).

Cincinnati, which most notably lost tackle Stacy Andrews and wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh in free agency last year, took home the most significant compensatory pick bonus. The Bengals were awarded a pick at the end of the third and fourth rounds, numbers 96 and 131 overall. Tennessee (#97) and Atlanta (#98) also received very valuable third-round choices. Pittsburgh got a pair of fifth-rounders and the second of 16 seventh-rounders. New England got the most compensatory picks, with four, though three of them fall at the end of the final round.

Here is the complete list of the picks awarded by the NFL on Monday:

ROUND

PICK IN RD/OVERALL

TEAM

3

33-96

Cincinnati

3

34-97

Tennessee

3

35-98

Atlanta

4

33-131

Cincinnati

5

33-164

Pittsburgh

5

34-165

Atlanta

5

35-166

Pittsburgh

5

36-167

Minnesota

5

37-168

San Diego

5

38-169

Green Bay

6

33-202

Carolina

6

34-203

Jacksonville

6

35-204

Carolina

6

36-205

New England

6

37-206

San Francisco

6

38-207

Tennessee

7

33-240

Indianapolis

7

34-241

Tennessee

7

35-242

Pittsburgh

7

36-243

Philadelphia

7

37-244

Philadelphia

7

38-245

Seattle

7

39-246

Indianapolis

7

40-247

New England

7

41-248

New England

7

42-249

Carolina

7

43-250

New England

7

44-251

Oakland

7

45-252

Miami

7

46-253

Tampa Bay

7

47-254

St. Louis

7

48-255

Detroit


A total of 523 compensatory picks have been awarded since 1994, a year after the NFL's free agency era began. The Buccaneers have received 17 of those picks, which is almost exactly the league average for 32 teams.

The Bucs used their last two compensatory picks, the pair of seventh-rounders in 2007, on Virginia cornerback Marcus Hamilton and Alabama running back Kenneth Darby. Both made brief appearances on the field for the Bucs in the regular season - Darby in 2007, Hamilton in 2008 and again in 2009 - and Darby has since established himself as a reserve for the St. Louis Rams. Hamilton played for the Chicago Bears in 2008 and spent last season in the short-lived United Football League.

The awarding of the compensatory picks also allows for the entire seven-round draft order to be established. Thus, the Bucs now know exactly where each of their 11 picks will fall in April's draft.

Slated to pick third in each round, the Bucs own three of the top 42 picks and four of the first 67 in the draft. Here's a look at Tampa Bay's 11 choices in the 2010 NFL Draft as they stand one month before the process begins:

Round

Pick in Round-Overall

Notes

1

3-3


2

3-35


2

10-42

Acquired from Chicago in Gaines Adams trade

3

3-67


4

3-101


5

22-153

Acquired from New England in Alex Smith trade

6

3-172


7

3-210


7

10-217

Acquired from Jacksonville in Luke McCown trade

7

25-232

Acquired from Baltimore in Marques Douglas trade

7

46-253

Compensatory pick awarded by NFL

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