The Vikings have eight picks in April’s NFL draft after being awarded three compensatory picks for lost free agents.
The Vikings were one of 15 teams awarded extra picks on Friday by the NFL’s Management Council, which says it uses a formula based on “salary, playing time and postseason honors” to determine which teams lost more or better free agents than they acquired the previous offseason. The Vikings will now be on the clock again in the sixth round (209th overall) and twice in the seventh round (247th and 250th).
According to the NFL, five Vikings departures last year counted as “compensatory free agents,” including Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, Jerick McKinnon, Shamar Stephen and Tramaine Brock, offset by two acquisitions factored into the formula in Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson to equal three picks. The timing of the Cardinals’ release of Sam Bradford, just before a Week 10 deadline, prevented the Vikings from adding another pick.
The eight picks span through the first (18th), second (50th), third (81st), fourth (120th), sixth (190th, 209th) and seventh rounds (247th, 250th).
The Vikings’ original fifth- and seventh-round picks are held by different teams. The fifth was sent to Denver in last year’s trade for quarterback Trevor Siemian, who is a pending free agent. The seventh went to the Giants in the late August trade for center Brett Jones, who is also a pending free agent.
New England, Arizona and Washington each will get four of the 32 compensatory picks awarded Friday. The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati join the Vikings in getting three. Philadelphia and Atlanta will have two, and Baltimore, Carolina, Dallas, Indianapolis, Kansas City, San Francisco and the New York Giants will get one.