2017 Broncos Compensatory Picks Update: What Rounds Will Trevathan And Stephenson Be?

Last night I applied the first week of snap count adjustments to the 2017 compensatory pick projection.  There’s plenty of data noise that takes place on Week 1 due to a small sample size, so in the end nothing may change, but I do want to draw your attention to a pair of interesting snap counts relative to the Broncos’ comp pick standing.

Let’s start with the “bad” news, and I use scare quotes because this is bad news strictly for comp pick purposes only.  Donald Stephenson played every single snap on Thursday.  A side effect to that is that it places him on the verge of being valued as a 5th rounder in the compensatory formula, instead of the 6th round projection he had in the offseason.  Remember that a compensatory free agent (CFA) gained must first cancel out a CFA lost valued at the same round, so if the Broncos have any 5th round valued CFA lost, Stephenson will cancel him out.  An upgrade to a 5th round value also means an upgrade to the Chiefs’ own comp pick for Stephenson. (But if you’re curious, that good news for the Chiefs is offset by two potential devaluations; Chase Daniel remaining exiled in backup country could demote him to a 5th, and if Jack Rel Dio keeps benching Sean Smith, Kansas City won’t get a 3rd for him.)  But it’s important to emphasize that overall, we want Stephenson to play all snaps at a high level, 5th round comp pick to the Chiefs be damned.

That 5th round CFA lost could, of course, be Danny Trevathan.  But now there’s some good news for the Broncos: Trevathan also played every single snap for the Bears against the Texans on Sunday. (And good for him, too, considering the injuries that he’s had to deal with in the past.)  Similar to Stephenson, this puts Trevathan on the verge of moving up to the 4th round tier.  Trevathan would definitely need to continue to play as many snaps as possible for the entire regular season for this to become a reality.  But that chance does exist.

Here’s the condensed answer of what will happen depending on the comp pick valuations of Trevathan and Stephenson:

  • If Trevathan is valued as a 4th, the Broncos will get a 4th for him, regardless of Stephenson’s value.
  • If Trevathan is valued as a 5th and Stephenson is valued as a 6th, as I’ve projected in the offseason, the Broncos will get a 5th for Trevathan.
  • But if Trevathan and Stephenson are both valued as 5ths, they will cancel each other out, and the Broncos will instead get a 6th for David Bruton.

Therefore, that comp pick could be a 4th, 5th, or 6th, but I think the smart money is to guess that it will remain a 5th.  Meanwhile, it remains likely that as long as only the first year of Russell Okung’s contract is counted in the formula, the Broncos are a lock for two 3rd rounders for Brock Osweiler and Malik Jackson, and they should also get a 7th for Ryan Harris as long as he stays above the 32 pick limit, the odds of which are very goo.