Image courtesy of Vikings.com

I already essentially wrote this article last May, but since the NFL is getting closer to awarding 32 compensatory draft picks to the eligible franchises, I thought I’d take the opportunity to remind you not to get your hopes up.

The NFL has a highly complex and secretive formula it uses to award 32 extra draft picks to franchises just before the Draft takes place. The picks are awarded to teams that lost more players to free agency than they gained. They can be anywhere from third to seventh round picks which is decided on a number of factors like the age, salary, and performances of the free agents each team let leave in free agency and those that they signed.

In May, I predicted that the Vikings would be awarded one seventh round draft pick. Their potential haul was cancelled out due, in large part, to the signings of Linval Joseph, Captain Munnerlyn, and Corey Wootton.

Over The Cap has a comprehensive breakdown of the compensatory draft pick process that can be read right here. Based on their understanding of the formula, which has the potential for some error (as they admit), you can also see their predictions right here. They predict that the Vikings get nothing.

My prediction of a seventh round pick may have been too optimistic, with Josh Freeman not playing an entire season for the Vikings and Kevin Williams signing with the Seahawks way late into free agency, and it is perfectly conceivable that the Vikings get no picks again this year.

Either way, prepare to be underwhelmed. Rick Spielman has his work cut out for him if he really wants to make 10 draft selections again this year.

The league typically announces the compensatory picks during the NFL owner’s meeting which will take place in Phoenix this year. That announcement should come between March 22-25.