In a nut-shell, compensatory picks are awarded to teams who lose free-agents the previous season. In the Broncos case, OTC is projecting that they will be awarded a 4th round draft pick for losing CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, two-6th round draft picks for losing Shaun Phillips and Knowshon Moreno, and a 7th round draft pick for losing Robert Ayers.
Heading into 2010, the Broncos already had 6 picks of their own-- a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th. They traded their 4th last season to move up and select WR Cody Latimer, and their 7th to the New York Giants in a trade for K Brandon McManus. This projection of four additional picks would bring the Broncos count up to 10. Compensatory selections occur at the end of each round and may not be traded.
Do not take these picks to the bank just yet. The method for awarding compensatory picks is a highly guarded secret kept by the NFL for no apparent reason. Though this is just a projection, OTC was correct about 27 teams and their compensation last season.
Here's a look at each draft under the John Elway regime:
Von Miller (1st), Rahim Moore (2nd), Orlando Franklin (2nd), Nate Irving (3rd), Quinton Carter (4th), Julius Thomas (4th), Mike Mohamed (6th), Virgil Green (7th), Jeremy Beal (7th)
Commentary: Excellent draft considering the fact that all but Mike Mohamed and Jeremy Beal are still with the team. Orlando Franklin and Rahim Moore are pro bowlers this season and Von Miller is a 2-time All-Pro. Quinton Carter has been injured throughout his tenure as a Bronco. Julius Thomas set a team record with 12 TD receptions in 2014.
Derek Wolfe (2nd), Brock Osweiler (2nd), Ronnie Hillman (3rd), Omar Bolden (4th), Phillip Blake (4th), Malik Jackson (5th), Danny Trevathan (6th)
Commentary: The Broncos still have a wild-card in Brock Osweiler. He will be given a shot to be the man when Peyton Manning steps aside. Ronnie Hillman has improved as a runner but was injured most of last season. Bolden has underwhelmed as a player in the secondary but has become a Special Teams ace alongside David Bruton. Malik Jackson and Danny Trevathan have become very important parts of the Broncos defense.
Sylvester Williams (1st), Montee Ball (2nd), Kayvon Webster (3rd), Quanterus Smith (5th), Vinston Painter (6th), Zac Dysert (7th)
Commentary: This has probably been John Elway's worst draft to date. Sylvester Williams is a starter along the DL, but he has yet to live up to his potential. Montee Ball has not become the feature back everyone envisioned. Kayvon Webster is 4th or 5th on the CB depth chart depending on the week, Quanterus Smith ended his 2nd consecutive season on IR, Tavarres King was cut in TC in 2013, Vinston Painter was plucked off our PS by the Browns and Zac Dysert spent 2014 on the PS.
Bradley Roby (1st), Cody Latimer (2nd), Michael Schofield (3rd), Lamin Barrow (5th), Matt Paradis (6th), Corey Nelson (7th).
Commentary: Too early to tell. Roby and Latimer look like legit players while everyone else failed to impress. Particularly frustrating was the lack of contribution from the OL and LB's taken given all the movement and injury in those respective areas.