The last thing we want to talk about during the Bengals' 8-1 start this season is the NFL draft, but there is some significant news coming out regarding it. According to Adam Schefter, the NFL is expected to allow teams to begin trading compensatory draft picks, which in theory, should result in more draft-weekend trades.
Being able to trade compensatory picks is very big news for all 32 NFL teams. Because the Bengals rarely spend big in free agency and tend to let at least one notable free agent leave each offseason, they often go into drafts armed with multiple compensatory picks.
Just last season, Cincinnati had a compensatory pick in the third and fourth round. They were used to select TCU All-American linebacker P.J. Dawson and Arizona State star defensive lineman Marcus Hardison. Those picks were awarded as the result of losing Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson in the 2014 offseason while Cincinnati didn't sign enough players to affect the compensatory formula.
Here's a quick look at other Bengals draft picks that came as compensatory selections:
OLB Marquis Flowers, Arizona, 6th round
CB Lavelle Westbrooks, Georgia Southern, 7th round
OL Reid Fragel, Ohio State, 7th round
OL T.J. Johnson, South Carolina, 7th round
RB Jay Finley, 7th round
CB, Brandon Ghee, Wake Forest, 3rd round
LB, Roddrick Muckelroy, Texas, 4th round
TE Chase Coffman, Missouri, 3rd round
RB Bernard Scott, Abilene Christian, 6th round
DL Clinton McDonald, Memphis, 7th round
WR Freddie Brown, Utah, 7th round
WR Andre Caldwell, Florida, 3rd round
TE Matt Sherry, Villanova, 6th round
DL Angelo Craig, Cincinnati, 7th round
WR Mario Urrutia, Louisville, 7th round
S Chinedum Ndukwe, Notre Dame, 7th round
LB Landon Johnson, Purdue, 3rd round
DL Elton Patterson, UCF, 7th round
It's a mixed bag of results that features mostly misses for the Bengals, though there were some quality pickups in there. Landon Johnson and Chinedum Ndukwe were quality starters during their careers in Cincinnati. Clinton McDonald went on to have a good career in Seattle. Bernard Scott and Andre Caldwell were decent backups who made several big plays in their Bengal careers.
T.J. Johnson is still on the 53-man roster as a backup lineman while Marquis Flowers played in all 16 games as a rookie before going on I.R. this year following the preseason.
Even when the Bengals didn't succeed with the compensatory pick directly, they may have drastically altered their draft. In that 2010 draft between compensatory picks in the third and fourth round, the Bengals grabbed Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins with the 210th-overall pick. Had Cincinnati not had the 96th-overall pick, which was compensatory, perhaps the 210th pick, which was used on Atkins would have instead been used on Brandon Ghee if he was still on the board.
Yeah, missing on Atkins to get Ghee would have been something the Bengals would still be gravely regretting to this day, but having that extra compensatory pick may have saved them from that massive blunder.
In general, you wouldn't think there would be a strong history with players who were compensatory selections, but there have actually been several in the past decade alone. Packers All-Pro guard Josh Sitton, Seahawks Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith, and Saints all-time receiver Marques Colston were all compensatory draft selections.
Oh, and some guy named Tom Brady was a compensatory pick back in 2000. That's worked out alright for the Patriots. Other former compensatory selections include quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, safety Pat Tillman, wide receiver Pierre Garcon, safety Antoine Bethea, running back Ahmad Bradshaw, linebacker Mike Vrabel and quarterback Aaron Brooks.
As for the 2016 draft, the Bengals may get a compensatory pick or two. The Bengals are currently projected to receive a seventh-round pick based on the contract Marshall Newhouse signed with the Giants this offseason, per Over the Cap.
Cincinnati lost Newhouse via free agency, and the players they signed (A.J. Hawk, Michael Johnson) were cut this offseason from their prior teams, thus, they don't take away from possible compensatory picks the Bengals may get.
A seventh-round pick isn't much to offer in a trade, but this rule could really have an effect on the Bengals in the 2017 NFL Draft with a host of players set to become free agents this offseason who could sign big deals elsewhere.
Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, Andre Smith, Leon Hall, Adam Jones, George Iloka, Reggie Nelson, Rey Maualuga, Wallace Gilberry, Brandon Thompson, and Pat Sims are all set to become free agents this coming offseason. Losing several of those guys could result in the Bengals getting compensatory picks between Rounds 3-7 in 2017, the only rounds where such picks can be awarded.