It’s safe to say that this year’s draft is going to be incredibly important for the Colts, regardless of who it is that’s leading things. They will have several picks, but they’ll likely gain one more as well.
Over the Cap recently released their projections for compensatory picks, and they project the Colts getting a fourth round pick for the loss of Coby Fleener in free agency.
The NFL hasn’t officially announced the compensatory picks yet, but OTC usually does a very good job at predicting them. They’ve done a good job at, for the most part, figuring out the formula the NFL uses to award these picks, so it’s likely that the Colts should get an extra fourth rounder to make up for the loss of Fleener.
Fleener’s deal with the Saints averages $7.2 million per season, which is what factors heavily into the compensatory formula. On the field, however, Fleener had an up and down season. He caught 50 passes for 631 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 12.6 yards per catch, and he also rushed for a touchdown. He wasn’t the dynamic playmaker that many thought he would be in the Saints offense, but he still was fourth on the team in receiving yards. The Colts saw some similar concerns with the tight end they choose to keep in Dwayne Allen, but the positive is that the Colts should get a compensatory pick out of the loss of Fleener. That’s something that Ryan Grigson was very aware of last offseason when making his moves, and so it’s good that it seems to have paid off a bit.
According to OTC’s projection chart, the Colts also would have been in line to receive compensatory picks for the losses of Jerrell Freeman (sixth round) and Dwight Lowery (seventh round), but those were cancelled out by the signings of Patrick Robinson and Scott Tolzien.
This year, compensatory picks are even more valuable than they’ve been in years past, as this year they’re tradeable. There have already been a couple of trades involving potential compensatory picks, so this would give the Colts another pick to either use on much-needed prospects or use in a trade. With how much work this team needs to do, every little bit - like an extra fourth round picks - certainly helps.