Earlier today it was announced that the Pittsburgh Steelers received three 7th round compensatory draft picks for the three unrestricted free agents lost last offseason and I have yet to hear of one party being thrown that celebrates that news. Is it hard to get excited about three extra picks in the final round of the draft that you can\’t trade? I suppose, but those picks do hold some minimum value nonetheless.
Just because the compensatory picks can\’t be traded, doesn\’t mean that others can\’t be. The Steelers very well could package other picks along with their original 7th round pick to move up in a certain round for starters. Moving their 6th round pick combined with their 5th and perhaps even original 7th is not out of the question to move up spots in the 5th round should they have a player they feel they want to go after. That is just a crude example as the possibilities are endless as long as there is a willing trade partner.
But what if the Steelers do not trade at all on draft day? What value do those extra 7th round compensatory picks bring the Steelers? For starters the Steelers can use them on players that might have gone undrafted that they really wanted to get a long look at in training camp. After the draft ends it usually becomes a bidding was for the top undrafted players. Destination, opportunity and signing bonus could often times play into the players decision to sign with one team over another.
One of the Steelers extra compensatory picks could definitely be used on a kicker now to compete with Shaun Suisham in training camp. Over the last three years only 3 kickers have been drafted and one of those, Ryan Succop, was drafted in the 7th round by the Kansas City Chiefs. Former Steelers kicker Kris Brown was even a 7th round draft pick of the Steelers back in 1999.
Will any of the 7th round picks make the 53 man roster? Time will only tell, but you should keep in mind that right defensive end Brett Keisel was a former 7th round draft pick and tight end David Johnson made the roster as well after being drafted in the 7th round of the 2009 draft. 2011 7th round draft pick Baron Batch was sure looking roster worthy prior to him tearing up his knee before the start of the preseason games in addition.
So are the compensatory picks the Steelers received today worth throwing a party for? Not really, but you can consider them found unscratched lottery tickets if you will. The odds of hitting a big prize is slim, but you never know unless you scratch them.