by JJ Cooper
Although the Titans and the Bengals cleaned up more than anyone else when the NFL announced their compensatory picks for next month's draft, the Patriots are the team that appear set to dominate the draft.
New England already had nine picks, including two extra second-round picks picked up in trades. They added an extra third rounder, an extra fifth and an extra sixth after losing Asante Samuel, Donte Stallworth and Randall Gay. While they can't trade the compensatory picks, New England has the trade ammunition now to move up or down to target whatever players they want.
The Titans and Bengals were the only two teams to land four compensatory picks. Tennessee picked up a fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh while Cincinnati received a third, sixth and two sevenths.
The NFL has never released the formula that it uses to determine compensatory picks, but it hs something to do with the player's new salary, how much he plays and his productivity. In the case of Pro Bowlers like Samuel that makes a lot of sense, but it doesn't explain how solid but unspectacular Justin Smith (who the Bengals lost) also was worth a third-round pick.