The NFL announced its compensatory picks for the 2021 NFL Draft on Wednesday, and the Bears were rewarded two sixth-round selections.
The Bears will be picking with the No. 221 and No. 228 picks in the sixth round, in addition to their original sixth-round selection. The picks were rewarded for the departures of defensive lineman Nick Williams and quarterback Chase Daniel last offseason to the Lions, respectively.
This marks the second year in a row that the Bears have been awarded a compensatory pick, as they gained a fourth-round pick last year for losing Adrian Amos. The pick was eventually traded to the Jaguars for Nick Foles. This also marks the first time since 2009 that the team has had multiple compensatory selections in a single draft.
The projection lines up with Over the Cap’s projections, as they also had the Bears ending up with two compensatory picks in Round 6. Chicago was actually awarded another sixth-round pick and a seventh-round pick for the losses of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Kevin Pierre-Louis, respectively, but those selections were cancelled out as a result of the NFL’s 32-pick limit.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of compensatory picks, they are essentially mid-to-late-round draft picks awarded to teams who suffered significant losses in free agency.
NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein explains the concept very well:
Teams are awarded compensatory draft picks between Rounds 3 and 7 based upon a league formula that takes into account the following criteria for players who left the team to sign elsewhere as free agents: average salary per year (APY), snap count and postseason awards. While there is an expected level of compensation for a player based on the amount he has signed for, his playing time (or lack thereof) in the upcoming season could alter the expectation. To qualify for compensatory picks, teams must end up with more qualifying free agents lost than gained in a particular year.
Here is a full list of the Bears’ selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, updated with the newly-announced compensatory picks:
- Round 1: No. 20 overall
- Round 2: No. 52 overall
- Round 3: No. 84 overall
- Round 5: No. 165 overall
- Round 6: No. 204 overall
- Round 6: No. 220 overall (compensatory pick)
- Round 6: No. 227 overall (compensatory pick)
- Round 7: No. 232 overall (from Miami via Atlanta)
Note: This article has been updated to move the Bears up in their two compensatory picks. The NFL incorrectly attributed two compensatory picks to the 49ers, instead of one.