With the 2017 NFL Draft approaching, the NFL has announced the compensatory picks for the 2017 Draft. The compensatory pick system is designed to help teams rebuild when they lose a key free agent. The value of the pick depends on the contract signed by the lost free agent and his playing time. For more information, please visit Over the Cap's website, where they do an excellent job of projecting compensatory picks. In the 2016 offseason, the Patriots added ED/LB Shea McClellin and TE Clay Harbor while losing DT Akiem Hicks and S Tavon Wilson. Wilson and McClellin wound up canceling each other out.
For the 2017 Draft, the Patriots will receive the 185th pick due to losing defensive lineman Akiem Hicks to the Chicago Bears. Hicks signed a 2-year, $10M deal and played 86% of the snaps. Another move involving a comp pick included trading All Pro Linebacker Jamie Collins to the Browns in November. The return was a conditional pick, depending on if the Browns received a 3rd round pick for losing center Alex Mack to the Atlanta Falcons. With Mack starting in every game in 2016, that pick is now set in stone, as the Patriots will get pick #103.
This news officially closes the book on the Collins trade and verifies Over the Cap's prediction back in December. The Patriots draft picks are:
3C/103 (Trade with CLE)
4/137 (Seattle 4th acquired in 2016 trade forfeited due to DFG penalties)
5/163 (Trade with DEN)
5C/185 (Compensation for losing Hicks to CHI)
7/242 (Trade with DET)