The San Francisco 49ers will be awarded two compensatory draft picks following the departure of a couple of defensive players.
Linemen Solomon Thomas and Kerry Hyder skipped town after last season for the Las Vegas Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks, respectively. The NFL decided Thursday that each one was worth an extra draft selection for the 49ers.
However, both are projected to be 7th rounders based on several considerations.
The league doles out 32 compensatory picks each year to various teams. Which teams receive the benefit(s) is dependent on the players that they lost or added during the most recent offseason. The equation used to make the determination takes into consideration the playing time, salaries and accolades each departing and arriving free agent has to his name.
All 32 of the gifted selections fall between the 3rd and 7th rounds. Not every team will receive a compensatory pick, and no team is eligible to gain more than four selections through the process.
49ers Free Agency Saw Additions And Subtractions
Lance Zierlein, of the NFL Network, offered a rundown Thursday of the compensatory picks and the teams around the league set to receive them.
Zierlein noted that the 49ers “key free agent losses,” the category that qualifies for possible draft compensation, included Thomas and Hyder, along with Kendrick Bourne (New England Patriots) and Ahkello Witherspoon (Seattle Seahawks).
“Key free agent pick-ups” for San Francisco included center Alex Mack (Atlanta Falcons) and linebacker Samuel Ebukam (Los Angeles Rams).
“The departures of VP of player personnel Martin Mayhew (now Washington GM) and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh (now Jets HC) net San Francisco three total third-round selections as part of the minority hiring initiative by the league,” Zierlein wrote. “However, the 49ers shipped the 2022 special compensatory third-rounder to the Dolphins in the trade up to No. 3 overall in this year’s draft.”
“The losses of Bourne and Witherspoon are offset by the additions of Ebukam and Mack,” Zierlein continued. “Thomas’ departure (along with Hyder’s) will be responsible for the seventh-round selections that should come San Francisco’s way.”
49ers Free Agency Moves This Offseason Should Bolster Team
San Francisco was fairly active in free agency leading up to the draft. Aside from the moves mentioned above, key signings for the 49ers also included running back Wayne Gallman (New York Giants) and offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill.
Gallman joins a loaded backfield of Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr. and newly-drafted Trey Sermon after putting up the best season of his four-year career in 2020. Brunskill has played almost every position on the offensive line for the 49ers over the previous two years, and will return on a favorable one-year deal with a price tag of $850,000.
The team also added to its defense, making short-term signings to shore up its defensive line and its defensive backfield, the latter of which was also a priority in the later rounds of the 2021 draft.
San Francisco will be down first-round picks in each of the next two seasons, surrendering them in a deal with the Miami Dolphins to move up from No. 12 to No. 3 and select presumptive quarterback of the future, Trey Lance.
The compensatory picks the 49ers are likely to receive are not themselves likely to add tremendous value. However, they do present as small chips that could be used to sweeten a pot in potential up-trades during the 2022 draft.