For the 2019 NFL Draft, the Bengals are projected to receive three compensatory picks, with all three of them falling in the sixth round. Nick Korte of OverTheCap.com released his annual compensatory pick projections today, and the Bengals were on of seven teams that netted three picks.
Some would tell you that the NFL Draft truly doesn’t matter past the fourth or fifth round, and the data would agree with that sentiment. However, a bevy of late round draft picks can’t hurt your chances of finding a diamond in the rough.
Last offseason, the four biggest contracts the Bengals saw their free agents receive on the open market belonged to Andre Smith ($4,000,000), Chris Smith ($3,900,000), AJ McCarron ($3,950,000) and Jeremy Hill ($1,331,250). Because the NFL can only award 32 total compensatory picks, Hill’s earnings do not project the Bengals with a fourth pick. Chris Smith’s playing time over McCarron makes his compensatory pick slightly more valuable as well.
Similar to Michael Johnson back in 2015, the Bengals allowed Andre Smith to walk in free agency only to sign him within the calendar year. The Bengals got a compensatory pick in the third round that year for Johnson after he signed a five-year deal worth $8.75 million per year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This is also the second year of compensatory picks having the ability to be traded. Just last year, the Bengals traded back in the second round to acquire Jessie Bates and in turn were able to trade their third round compensatory pick up over 20 spots to draft Malik Jefferson.
The Bengals don’t trade up often, but the last time they did so was in 2017, when they traded back into the sixth round to draft Brandon Wilson. They could pull a similar move this year if they do indeed end up having three extra picks in that round.
Thanks to the Bene Benwikere trade with the Dallas Cowboys made back in 2017, the Bengals could end up having five sixth-round draft picks, which would net a grand total of 11 draft picks. We could be in for another busy draft weekend.