Navigating through the 2021 NFL Draft will be as difficult as ever. But the Pittsburgh Steelers are projected to receive a couple extra draft picks to make that process slightly easier. Over The Cap’s Nick Korte, the leading expert on all things compensatory, released his final projections for what the 2021 comp picks will look like. He projects the Steelers to receive a 4th and 6th round compensatory selections. The 4th rounder is for the loss of Javon Hargrave while the 6th rounder is for the loss of Sean Davis.
Hargrave signed a three-year, $39 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles this past offseason. After an early-season injury, Hargrave wound up starting 11 games, recording 38 tackles and 4.5 sacks. Pittsburgh missed his pass rush presence but Tyson Alualu admirably filled those shoes, having arguably a career year especially versus the run.
The Steelers easily moved on from Davis after acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick. Davis signed a one-year, $4 million deal with Washington but failed to make the team and was cut before Week One. Pittsburgh scooped him back up for the regular season, though Davis’ time was almost exclusively limited to special teams action. He did start the Week 17 finale after Terrell Edmunds missed with a shoulder injury. So it’s possible the Steelers get a comp pick without ever essentially losing the player.
Pittsburgh could also receive a 6th round pick for the loss of Tyler Matakevich, who signed with the Buffalo Bills, but Korte’s projections have Matakevich past the 32 comp pick maximum awarded by the league.
However, Korte admits COVID has made his projections more difficult than ever and that his assessment may not be as accurate this year as previous years. He adds a caveat that if FB Derek Watt’s contract is valued at a 6th round level, the Steelers will not receive the 6th round comp pick for Davis. Right now, the only thing to be confident in is receiving a 4th round selection for Hargrave.
At the start of the season, the hope was the Steelers would receive a third round pick for Hargrave. But it seems he’ll safely miss that cutoff. Korte projects six 3rd round compensatory picks, headlined by the New England Patriots receiving one for the loss of Tom Brady and the Los Angeles Chargers getting one for Philip Rivers.
Pittsburgh is projected to receive the highest comp pick of any AFC North team. The Ravens are projected to receive a fifth while the Bengals and Browns aren’t projected to receive any.