Extra draft picks are often nice, but the Detroit Lions are not projected to have any compensatory picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Detroit Lions are in a good spot looking ahead to April’s draft, with two picks in the top-20 (No. 6 and No. 18) and four of the top-60 picks. A young roster will add four more top-end young players, assuming no moves around the draft board or otherwise that takes away one of those picks.
Teams are awarded compensatory draft picks based, in part, on gains and losses in free agency the previous year. The Lions had three compensatory picks last year, No. 97 overall (third round), No. 177 overall (fifth round) and No. 217 overall (sixth round). Those picks became safety Kerby Joseph, tight end James Mitchell and edge rusher James Houston, so those extra picks can’t be written off as unimportant.
Over The Cap has an early projection for 2023 compensatory picks. While it could change, most directly if defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn gets a head coaching job based on the league’s formula for losing a minority coach to a head coaching job, it’s pretty close to what will ultimately be for Detroit.
Detroit Lions not in line to have any 2023 compensatory picks
On Over The Cap’s chart, the Lions lost one free agent last year (linebacker Jaylen Reeves-Maybin) who qualified to get his former team compensation, and added two (wide receiver DJ Chark, cornerback Mike Hughes). Reeves-Maybin and Hughes cancel each other out for the Lions on the chart.
The Chiefs are projected to get a seventh-round pick via losing Hughes to the Lions. Jacksonville’s free agent spending spree last offseason took away the potential for them to get a comp pick for losing Chark.
So if Lions general manager Brad Holmes is going to add any 2023 draft picks, it’ll be via trades. But there’s a stronger case to stand pat, or consolidate picks for a move up if there’s a player the Lions really covet.