It was a wild finish to the NFL regular season, and not just for the teams fighting for a playoff spot.
Teams that had long been eliminated from postseason contention had plenty at stake with positioning at the top of the 2022 NFL Draft on the line. The top pick in the draft essentially changed hands multiple times during some late-game dramatics on Sunday before the Jacksonville Jaguars secured it for the second straight year.
The Jaguars entered the day needing a loss or a Lions win to get the No. 1 overall pick. Their chances of doing so were put in jeopardy when they jumped out to a big lead in what became a stunning 26-11 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
The Lions, though, were working on a surprising upset of their own, taking an 11-point lead over a Green Bay Packers team that had already locked up the NFC’s top seed. The Packers then temporarily shook up the top of the draft by coming back to take a late three-point lead on a 62-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Love to Josiah Deguara with 4:49 remaining, putting the Lions in position for the No. 1 pick.
Detroit responded with a six-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a 14-yard touchdown run by D’Andre Swift. The Lions went on to win 37-30 and finish the season at 3-13-1, giving the first pick to the 3-14 Jaguars.
It’s the sixth time a team has held the top pick in consecutive years, and first since the Cleveland Browns selected Myles Garrett in 2017 and Baker Mayfield in 2018.
The Lions, who lost their first eight games of the season, get the second pick.
The Houston Texans, following a 28-25 loss to the Tennessee Titans to finish 4-13, took the third pick based on the strength of schedule tiebreaker over fellow 4-13 teams, the New York Jets and the New York Giants. The Jets, who lost 27-10 to the Buffalo Bills, will pick fourth. The Giants, after losing 22-7 to the Washington Football Team, have the fifth pick.
The Carolina Panthers lost 41-17 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to finish 5-12 and claim the sixth pick. The Chicago Bears finished 6-11 after a 31-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, sending the seventh pick to the Giants as part of a 2021 draft-day trade. The Atlanta Falcons lost 30-20 to the New Orleans Saints to finish 7-10 and get the eighth pick by way of the SOS tiebreaker. The 7-10 Broncos, who lost 28-24 on Saturday to the Kansas City Chiefs, pick ninth. As part of the Jamal Adams trade, the Jets get the tenth pick from the Seattle Seahawks, who defeated the Arizona Cardinals 38-30 to finish with a 7-10 record.
Below is the full draft order for the 18 teams that did not make the playoffs:
How is the NFL draft order determined?
Before getting to the draft order, it’s important to understand how it’s determined. Teams are arranged in reverse order of regular-season records (worst to best), with the first 18 picks being made up of non-playoff teams. The ordering of playoff teams is also based on regular-season records, in addition to how far they advanced in the postseason. Pick Nos. 19-24 are teams eliminated in the wild card round, 25-28 are those eliminated in the divisional round, 29-30 are the conference runner-ups, 31 is the Super Bowl loser and 32 is the champion.
Tiebreakers are first settled by strength of schedule. The team with the easier schedule gets the higher pick. If teams have equal strengths of schedules, then the following criterion is used until the tie is broken:
- Divisional or conference tiebreakers
- Best win-loss-tie percentage in common games (minimum of four games)
- Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed
- Best net points in all games
- Best net touchdowns in all games
- Coin toss
What is the 2022 NFL Draft order?
- Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-14
- Detroit Lions, 3-13-1
- Houston Texans, 4-13
- New York Jets, 4-13
- New York Giants, 4-13
- Carolina Panthers, 5-12
- New York Giants (via Chicago, 6-11)
- Atlanta Falcons, 7-10
- Denver Broncos, 7-10
- New York Jets (via Seattle, 7-10)
- Washington Football Team, 7-10
- Minnesota Vikings, 8-9
- Cleveland Browns, 8-9
- Baltimore Ravens, 8-9
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami, 9-8)
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Indianapolis, 9-8)
- Los Angeles Chargers, 9-8
- New Orleans Saints, 9-8