We’re now more than a quarter of the way through the 2021 season, and some fans may already be looking ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft.
So what does the race for the No. 1 overall pick look like after Week 5?
The top of the draft order remains unchanged from last week, with the 0-5 Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 1 and the 0-5 Detroit Lions at No. 2. Jacksonville was blown out at home by the Tennessee Titans while Detroit suffered a crushing last-second loss in Minnesota (so crushing that head coach Dan Campbell shed tears postgame).
The Jaguars will have a great shot at picking up win No. 1 in Week 6 as they travel to London to face the 1-4 Miami Dolphins, though there is a chance starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa makes his return for that matchup. The Lions on the other hand will have a tough test with the 3-2 Cincinnati Bengals coming to town.
It was a great week for the Philadelphia Eagles. Not only did the Birds pull off a comeback victory over the Carolina Panthers, but the Dolphins (whose pick Philly owns) lost a fourth straight game to remain in the top five of the draft order. And that’s not all. The Indianapolis Colts stayed at No. 6 with their overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. The Eagles get Indy’s first-round pick if Carson Wentz plays at least 75% of the offensive snaps this season (or just 70% should the Colts make the playoffs). If the season ended today, the Eagles would have the fifth, sixth and 10th overall picks.
In addition to the Dolphins and Colts, there are three other one-win teams that make up the rest of the current top seven. The Houston Texans (No. 3) held a 22-9 second-half lead over the New England Patriots, only to fall 25-22 for a fourth straight defeat. The New York Jets (No. 4) failed to build upon their first win of the season, losing to the Atlanta Falcons in London. And the New York Giants (No. 7) lost Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley and Kenny Golladay to injuries before being blown out by the Dallas Cowboys.
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 strengths of schedules. The team with the easier schedule gets the higher pick. If teams have equal strengths of schedules, then the tie is broken using the following criteria:
- 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?
There’s still a ton of football to be played, but here’s a look at the draft order after Week 5 (via Tankathon.com):
- Jacksonville Jaguars, 0-5
- Detroit Lions, 0-5
- Houston Texans, 1-4
- New York Jets, 1-4
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami, 1-4)
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Indianapolis, 1-4)
- New York Giants, 1-4
- Atlanta Falcons, 2-3
- New England Patriots, 2-3
- Philadelphia Eagles, 2-3
- Miami Dolphins (via San Francisco, 2-3)
- New York Jets (via Seattle, 2-3)
- Washington Football Team, 2-3
- Minnesota Vikings, 2-3
- Pittsburgh Steelers, 2-3
- Kansas City Chiefs, 2-3
- Cincinnati Bengals, 3-2
- New Orleans Saints, 3-2
- Tennessee Titans, 3-2
- Denver Broncos, 3-2
- Carolina Panthers, 3-2
- New York Giants (via Chicago, 3-2)
- Cleveland Browns, 3-2
- Detroit Lions (via L.A. Rams, 4-1)
- Las Vegas Raiders, 3-2
- Buffalo Bills, 4-1
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4-1
- Green Bay Packers, 4-1
- Los Angeles Chargers, 4-1
- Dallas Cowboys, 4-1
- Baltimore Ravens, 4-1
- Arizona Cardinals, 5-0