PHOENIX — The one positive from the Ravens' annual free agent exodus has been their ability to recoup some young talent through compensatory NFL draft picks.
No team in the league has received more compensation selections than the Ravens, who learned on Monday that they've been awarded three more, giving them 10 total picks in next month's draft. The announcement was made at the annual owner's meetings, held at the Arizona Biltmore resort.
The three picks were given as a result of the Ravens' free agent losses last offseason. The Ravens were awarded one extra pick in the fourth round (136 overall) and two in the fifth (171 and 175 overall).
That leaves them with one pick in the first round (26th overall), one in the second, one in the third, three in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth.
"We are looking forward to the draft," Ravens team president Dick Cass said. "You know how much effort goes into our draft. It really ramps up now from really the end of this week until we get to the draft. It's all hands on deck. Everyone in the coaching staff, everyone in the scouting department will start working on the draft full time."
The Ravens got a fourth and a fifth-round pick from the Detroit Lions this month in exchange for defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and a seventh-round selection.
They sent their original fifth-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for center Jeremy Zuttah. They traded their original sixth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns to select wide receiver Michael Campanaro (River Hill) in the seventh round last year.
They got back a 2015 sixth-round pick from the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a 2015 seventh-round pick and the rights to linebacker Rolando McClain.
Per league rules, a team losing more, or better, free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks. The maximum number of compensatory picks a team can receive is four.
The Ravens' primary free-agent losses last offseason were tight end Ed Dickson (Carolina Panthers), offensive tackle Michael Oher (Tennessee Titans), defensive lineman Arthur Jones (Indianapolis Colts) and defensive backs Corey Graham (Buffalo Bills) and James Ihedigbo (Detroit Lions). Meanwhile, the Ravens signed only one qualifying unrestricted free agent: safety Darian Stewart.
Players who are released by other teams, such as wide receiver Steve Smith, do not count toward the compensation formula.
The Ravens had hoped to get the maximum four compensatory picks for a third straight season. However, the departure of Dickson, who struggled last season for the Panthers, didn't result in one.
Since 1995, the first year compensatory picks were allowed, the Ravens have received 44 picks, nine more than the Green Bay Packers. That includes the maximum four in each of the past two drafts.
Players that the Ravens have gotten with compensatory picks include starting fullback Kyle Juszczyk (fourth round, 2013), starting right tackle Rick Wagner (fifth round, 2013) and former defensive end Pernell McPhee (fifth round, 2011). With their four compensatory picks last year, the Ravens selected tight end Crockett Gillmore (third round), defensive end Brent Urban (fourth round), running back Lorenzo Taliaferro (fourth round) and guard John Urschel (fifth round).
The first round of the 2015 draft will start on April 30. The three-day affair will run through May 2.