The Ravens have been awarded third- and fourth-round compensatory draft picks, the league announced March 10, giving the Ravens a total of nine picks in this year’s draft.

Compensatory draft picks are awarded to teams based on free-agency losses compared to free-agency acquisitions. This past year, the Ravens lost linebackers Za’Darius Smith, C.J. Mosley and Terrell Suggs and wide receiver John Brown as unrestricted free agents who factor in the compensatory pick equation, while they signed safety Earl Thomas and running back Mark Ingram. (Players who had been cut by other teams, or players signed after a certain date, don’t factor in the league’s closely-guarded compensatory formula.)

As a result, the Ravens were left with two compensatory picks, which can be awarded from Rounds 3 to 7 in the draft. The Ravens were awarded the final pick of the third round (No. 106 overall) and the fifth compensatory pick of the fourth round (No. 143 overall).

Under former general manager Ozzie Newsome and current GM Eric Decosta, the Ravens have long used the compensatory-pick system as a key component of their roster-building strategy.

Since the comp pick system was established in 1994, the Ravens have had 50 compensatory picks, the most in the league.

Ravens punter Sam Koch was a sixth-round compensatory pick in 2006, and more recent comp picks have included future Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk, tight end Nick Boyle and guard Bradley Bozeman.

Compensatory picks now have added value as trade capital; before 2017, the picks were not tradable. In 2018, the Ravens used a comp pick in a trade that ultimately netted first-round draft pick Hayden Hurst, and the comp pick that netted Bozeman came to the Ravens via trade.

The compensatory formula also factors in the Ravens’ roster process throughout the year. This past season, the Ravens released special teams ace Justin Bethel after seven games, not because of poor performance, but because of what head coach John Harbaugh described as “a funky rule the NFL has with these compensatory picks.”

The Tennessee Titans had released defensive end Brent Urban, and by releasing Bethel, the Ravens essentially remained at plus-two in the compensatory equation. Had they retained Bethel, they would be receiving one compensatory pick for the 2020 draft.

“A judgment has to be made in terms of for the future as well,” Harbaugh said when announcing Bethel’s release.

With the compensatory picks, the Ravens have nine picks in the 2020 draft. The Ravens picked up a fifth-round pick from the Minnesota Vikings for kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik, gave up a fifth-rounder in the deal that landed cornerback Marcus Peters, and added a fourth-round pick while dealing their sixth-round pick to the New England Patriots in the trade involving offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor.

The 2020 NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 23, in Las Vegas.

Barring further trades, here is the Ravens full list of draft picks:

1st round (No. 28)
2nd round (No. 60)
3rd round (No. 92, No. 106)
4th round (No. 129, No. 134, No. 143)
5th round (No. 171)
7th round (No. 226)

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox

Bo Smolka

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