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Ravens Protected Own 4th-Rd Pick, Cost Steelers 5th-Rd Pick by Waiting to Sign Alejandro Villanueva



By waiting until after Monday’s deadline for free agent draft pick compensation to sign Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, the Baltimore Ravens significantly impact both their own and Pittsburgh’s compensatory draft picks for the 2022 NFL Draft.

The draft pick formula takes into account both players signed and players lost to multi-year contract between the start of free agency and Monday’s deadline.

The Ravens had lost linebacker Matt Judon and defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Jihad Ward to free agency, while signing wide receiver Sammy Watkins. The Watkins and Ward signings canceled each other leaving Baltimore with two compensatory picks, projected as fourth-rounders by, for Judon and Ngakoue.

If the Ravens had signed Villanueva before Monday, he would have canceled out one of those fourth-round picks.

The Steelers, meanwhile, had countable losses of linebacker Bud Dupree, offensive lineman Matt Feiler and cornerback Mike Hilton, while signing offensive lineman Joe Haeg. Haeg canceled out Hilton, but Dupree and Feiler are expected to net the Steelers a third-round and fifth-round pick, again according to OTC’s estimation of the league’s formula.

If Villanueva had been a countable loss, the Steelers would have likely netted another fifth-round pick, according to OTC’s Nick Korte.

The compensatory period coming to a close is meant to end any dis-incentive teams might have to sign free agent players that have remained on the market for nearly two months without otherwise gaining any interest.