Arians: Comp picks could allow Cardinals to trade up in '17 draft

NFL teams won't receive 2018 compensatory draft picks until next year for their free-agency losses of this year, but that doesn't mean the Arizona Cardinals won't have those picks in mind as they consider potential 2017 draft trades.

The compensatory picks they expect to gain give the Cardinals more freedom to trade up in this year's draft, coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday, per Kyle Odergard, who writes for the club's website.

"It could be a really fun draft," Arians said at the Annual League Meeting on Wednesday.

Arizona has lost seven players in free agency this season, including two of the top 13 on the market, as ranked by NFL.com, in DL Calais Campbell and DB Tony Jefferson. Also gone is LB Kevin Minter. A team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks, per league rules. The Cardinals have not signed a player who was ranked in NFL.com's top 101 free agents, so the expectation that Arizona will be receiving compensatory picks is certainly reasonable. Compensatory picks are awarded for Rounds 3-6.

The Cardinals hold the Nos. 13, 45 and 77 selections over the first three rounds of this year's draft. Among their primary needs are linebacker, quarterback and defensive back.

Arians downplayed the suggestion that wide receiver could be an early draft priority, but does see some long-term potential in the quarterback class. The Cardinals have a quality starter in Carson Palmer, but the time could be right to find a young QB to groom behind the 37-year-old veteran.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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