The New England Patriots were awarded a league-high four compensatory draft picks, the NFL announced Tuesday.
The Patriots add two third-rounders and two sixth-rounders to their overall haul of 12 picks. It helps them partially fill a void of not having a second-round pick -- a selection they traded to the Atlanta Falcons for receiver Mohamed Sanu in October.
A team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory picks.
The Patriots' selections (Nos. 98, 100, 212, 213) were a result of losing defensive end Trey Flowers, offensive tackle Trent Brown, defensive tackle Malcom Brown and receiver Cordarrelle Patterson.
New England was one of 15 teams to be awarded compensatory picks. The Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks all received three picks.
The Texans received the highest overall pick, a third-rounder (No. 97).
The Giants (99), Seahawks (101), Pittsburgh Steelers (102), Eagles (103), Los Angeles Rams (104), Vikings (105) and Baltimore Ravens (106) were the other clubs to receive third-round picks.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, Ravens, Seahawks, and Eagles (2) gained fourth-round picks.
The Broncos and Dallas Cowboys received the only fifth-rounders, while the Patriots and Seahawks had the only sixth-rounders
In the seventh round, the Giants (2), Texans (2), Vikings (2), Dolphins (2) and Broncos (2) landed picks.