We won’t know officially for some time, but the 49ers seem poised to receive four compensatory selections for the 2023 NFL Draft a year from now.
The San Francisco 49ers have made it something of a recent habit to land compensatory picks in the NFL Draft.
Late last month during the 2022 draft, general manager John Lynch used four of them, grabbing wide receiver Danny Gray at the end of Round 3, defensive tackle Kalia Davis and cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields in Round 6, then quarterback Brock Purdy with the final pick, No. 262 overall, in Round 7.
The NFL’s formula for determining compensatory selections is both complex and privately kept. But that hasn’t stopped experts from coming close to figuring it out.
On top of that, there’s the reward for teams who develop minority assistants who go on to take featured roles elsewhere, such as the Niners losing defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to the New York Jets’ head-coaching vacancy in 2021, offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel to the Miami Dolphins as their new head coach in 2022, and vice president of player personnel Martin Mayhew to the Washington Commanders to be their new general manager in 2021, too.
San Francisco will be rewarded again with third-round comp picks for each one of those transfers, plus a net loss of qualifying free agents in 2022.
49ers predicted to receive 4 compensatory picks in 2023 NFL Draft
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein recently analyzed each team’s projected eligibility for comp picks a year from now, and this is what he had to say for the 49ers:
"The 49ers will receive the second of two third-rounders awarded for Mike McDaniel being hired as Dolphins head coach this offseason and the third of three third-rounders awarded for losing both Robert Saleh (Jets head coach) and Martin Mayhew (Commanders GM) in 2021. They will also take home a fifth for [nose tackle D.J.] Jones and a likely seventh-round pick for [EDGE Arden] Key, provided he makes the Jaguars — which is very likely. The departure of [left guard Laken] Tomlinson and addition of [cornerback Charvarius] Ward cancel each other out in terms of compensatory-pick eligibility."
The Niners are still reaping the benefits of the departures of Saleh, Mayhew and McDaniel, but losing some key free agents this offseason also provides a bit of a benefit.
As it’s always a good idea to cross-check this kind of speculation, Jason Fitzgerald at Over the Cap also came to the same conclusion, albeit not including the two comp picks for the Saleh/Mayhew departure and loss of McDaniel.
He also lists both Tomlinson and Ward canceling each other out, while both Jones and Key wind up qualifying.
Other San Francisco free-agent departures who don’t qualify, per Fitzgerald, include running back Raheem Mostert, offensive lineman Tom Compton and cornerback K’Waun Williams, while the additions of linebacker Oren Burks, safety George Odum, defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, EDGE Kemoko Turay and wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud won’t qualify against the formula either.
So, if you’re already starting to tab out how many compensatory picks the NFL will announce to the 49ers a little less than a year from now, you can likely add four to that list.