Over the Cap is a very reliable source when it comes down to how the NFL's compensatory pick formula works out. Their formula projects the Browns will get a 3rd round pick for losing their center, Alex Mack, to the Atlanta Falcons. Since the trade is conditional 3rd round comp pick vs. an early 4th and the NFL is taking away the Patriots highest 4th rounder, this is very huge news. The difference between a 3rd round comp vs. their own or Seattle's 4th is pretty significant in the draft. With the Jamie Collins trade involving a possible compensatory pick, this should answer any questions about what pick the Patriots will get.
Over the Cap has a cancellation chart that shows how the system works for those wondering. Also to dispel any rumors, if the Browns use the franchise tag on Collins after the season, it has zero bearing on this compensatory selection. ZERO! If Collins isn't a lost FA after the season, that affects the Browns 2018 pool and the Patriots don't have any of the Browns selections from that draft. To clarify, lost FAs count towards the next league year.
According to their comp pick formula, this would be where the Patriots would be picking in the draft with the pick coming back from Cleveland.
Current projection of the end of 3rd rd in the 2017 draft:— Nick Korte (@nickkorte) October 31, 2016
101—TEN (from LA)
104—NE (from CLE)
Alex Mack needs to play 80% of the remaining snaps in order for the Patriots to get a 3rd round compensatory pick. So hopefully he's able to play every down between now and Christmas.
Checking the math, it appears that Alex Mack will need to play at least 80% of the remaining snaps to stay as a 3rd round compensatory pick.— Nick Korte (@nickkorte) October 31, 2016