Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said he figured his team would get two or three compensatory draft picks based on free-agent losses. Things ended up on the high end for his team.
As announced by the NFL on Monday night, the Falcons received three compensatory draft picks to go with their current seven picks: an extra fourth-round pick and two more seventh-round selections. The league awarded 32 compensatory draft picks to 13 different teams.
The picks distributed to the Falcons were based on the free-agent loses of Brent Grimes (Miami), Vance Walker (Oakland), Chris Owens (Cleveland), and Will Svitek (New England). The NFL noted that quarterback Luke McCown (New Orleans) did not qualify for a compensatory pick because the 32 picks had already been awarded.
The extra fourth-round pick could come in handy for the Falcons, whether it means filling depth at a position of need or allowing them to use their original fourth-round pick as more bargaining power in a trade.
Last year, the Falcons used their compensatory fourth-round pick to draft tight end Levine Toilolo out of Stanford. Toilolo will be a key figure in 2014 as the Falcons move forward without the retired Tony Gonzalez.
The Falcons received four compensatory draft picks last year: a fourth-rounder and three seventh-rounders.