Falcons Make Difference with Comp Picks

Posted Apr 19, 2013

How well do you know your Falcons draft history? In the last 10 years, the Falcons have had six compensatory picks and some of them have been central to the club's five-year run of success.

By now, you know the Falcons were awarded four compensatory picks in this year's draft, joining the Ravens as the only teams in the league with four picks awarded. With the additional picks, selections which can't be traded, the Falcons have 11 picks in this year's draft. But did you know what the Falcons have done with other compensatory picks in the past?

Going back 10 seasons, the Falcons have had six compensatory picks and four of them have come under current GM Thomas Dimitroff's watch and he's used those picks wisely to add talent all over the roster. One such talent he selected with a compensatory pick is 2008 third-round pick and Pro Bowl safety Thomas DeCoud

DeCoud was the 98th selection in the draft that season, a pick the Falcons were granted after allowing key free agents to leave the team during the '08 offseason. DeCoud was the first compensatory selection by Dimitroff and it's been a good one. DeCoud is the only compensatory pick since 2008 to go on to earn Pro Bowl honors.

As a side note, the '08 draft has been well-publicized for how it helped turn around the Falcons franchise. DeCoud joins Atlanta's first-round pick that year, QB Matt Ryan, as players that went on to become Pro Bowlers. The Falcons and the Patriots are the only two teams in the league that selected two future Pro Bowlers in that year's draft.

DeCoud is in somewhat rare company as a compensatory selection that went on to make the Pro Bowl. He's one of nine compensatory picks since the 2003 draft to earn Pro Bowl recognition. Former Falcons Pro Bowl fullback Ovie Mughelli joins DeCoud on that list, a comp pick selection by Baltimore in the 2003 draft.

PHOTOS: View Images From Atlanta's Six Compensatory Picks Since 2003

The Falcons have had some success with the 98th pick. In addition to DeCoud, tackle Mike Johnson was also selected as a comp pick, No. 98 overall in the 2010 draft. Although he's not reached the Pro Bowl level as his 98th counterpart, the former Alabama All-American is expected to compete for the starting right tackle in training camp this season. Defensive tackle Travian Robertson, drafted in the seventh round last season, was a compensatory selection (249 overall). Kerry Meier was a fifth-round comp pick in 2010, rounding out the Dimitroff compensatory selections.

One side note on the recent compensatory draft picks involves tight end Chase Coffman, signed during the 2012 season. He was a third-round compensatory selection of the Bengals in 2009, also at pick No. 98.

The remaining compensatory picks from the last ten drafts also produced interesting results. One pick, 2007's fourth-round selection of tight end Martrez Milner is no longer with the team, but the other from that year is still filling valuable roles for the Falcons. Backup running back Jason Snelling was a seventh-round comp pick, No. 244 overall. Snelling was one of the final selections in the draft with only 11 players coming after him to close it out. Of the 13 seventh-round compensatory picks in 2007, Snelling is one of only three players still currently in the league and the only one still with the team that drafted him.

Please Note

The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed on represent those of the individual authors. Unless quoted or clearly labeled as such, do not represent the opinions or policies of the Atlanta Falcons’ organization, front office staff, coaches and executives. The writers’ views are formulated independently from any inside knowledge and/or conversations with Falcons officials, including the coaches and scouts, unless otherwise noted.