The New England Patriots' offseason has come earlier than expected after its run of eight consecutive AFC Championship Game appearances ended with Saturday's loss to the Tennessee Titans on Wild Card Weekend.
The good news for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and the team's front office is now they can get a head start on planning for next season, and one of the most important parts of that process is the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Patriots have many free agents to consider re-signing, and no decision is more important than quarterback Tom Brady's. Luckily for the Patriots, they are well-equipped to replace some of these free agents and address other roster weaknesses with their abundance of draft assets. The Patriots could have as many as 12 selections in the 2020 draft when you factor in compensatory picks. These draft selections are awarded to teams that lose free agents in the previous offseason.
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Nick Korte of OverTheCap.com released his latest compensatory pick projections late last week, and the Patriots have the best collection of these picks compared to the rest of the league. Here's a quick list of the projected compensatory picks (and the free agent lost) for the Patriots:
Round 3 (Trey Flowers)
Round 3 (Trent Brown)
Round 6 (Malcom Brown)
Round 6 (Cordarrelle Patterson)
It's important to note the league has not yet released its official list of compensatory picks.
The Patriots are the only team projected to receive multiple compensatory third-round picks. The Baltimore Ravens, who entered the playoffs as the AFC's No. 1 seed following a 14-2 regular season, are one of two teams expected to get two fourth-round compensatory picks.
Using compensatory picks to enhance the team-building process has long been a staple of the Patriots organization, and 2020 should be another huge success in that regard.