The 2022 NFL Draft is set to be held in Paradise, Nevada (aka Las Vegas) from April 28-30, and the order for the first round is set, at least for now.
Ten of the first 32 picks have changed hands because of trades with a few those switching more than once. As a result, a quarter (eight) of the league's teams – Detroit, Green Bay, Houston, Kansas City, New Orleans, New York Giants, New York Jets, and Philadelphia – own half of the picks (16 total) in the first round. On the other side, a quarter (eight) of the league's teams – Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Rams, Miami, and San Francisco – won't be picking on April 28.
And for those who fully believe that the best teams are built through the draft consider that the Rams, the newly crowned champs, haven't picked in the first round since 2016 (Jared Goff, No. 1 overall), and the team's first pick this year is at the end of the Round 3 (compensatory selection).
Here's how the order currently falls for the first round of the 2022 draft.
Note: 2021 regular-season record is listed in parentheses.
Current Draft Order
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14)
2. Detroit Lions (3-13-1)
3. Houston Texans (4-13)
4. New York Jets (4-13)
5. New York Giants (4-13)
6. Carolina Panthers (5-12)
7. New York Giants (via 6-11 Chicago Bears)
8. Atlanta Falcons (7-10)
9. Seattle Seahawks (via 7-10 Denver Broncos)
10. New York Jets (via 7-10 Seattle Seahawks)
11. Washington Football Team (7-10)
12. Minnesota Vikings (8-9)
13. Houston Texans (via 8-9 Cleveland Browns)
14. Baltimore Ravens (8-9)
15. Philadelphia Eagles (via 9-8 Miami Dolphins)
16. New Orleans Saints (via Philadelphia Eagles from 9-8 Indianapolis Colts)
17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-8)
18. Philadelphia Eagles (via 9-8 New Orleans Saints)
19. New Orleans Saints (via 9-8 Philadelphia Eagles)
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1)
21. New England Patriots (10-7)
22. Green Bay Packers (via 10-7 Las Vegas Raiders)
23. Arizona Cardinals (11-6)
24. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)
25. Buffalo Bills (11-6)
26. Tennessee Titans (12-5)
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4)
28. Green Bay Packers (13-4)
29. Kansas City Chiefs (via Miami Dolphins from 10-7 San Francisco 49ers)
30. Kansas City Chiefs (12-5)
31. Cincinnati Bengals (10-7)
32. Detroit Lions (via 12-5 Los Angeles Rams)
How is the draft order determined?
At its most basic level, the NFL makes its draft order by ranking teams from worst to best. That means ranking teams first and foremost by their regular-season record.
For the non-playoff teams, that's easy. The first 18 selections are ranked by record, and the tiebreaker goes to the teams with the easiest strength of schedule. For example, the 4-13 Texans had a .498 strength of schedule, while the 4-13 Jets (.512) and 4-13 Giants (.536) had higher marks. That reflects more poorly on the Texans that they ended up with the same record, so they earned the third pick followed by the Jets at No. 4 and Giants at No. 5.
Things get slightly more complicated for the 14 playoff teams. Unlike the NBA, where the regular season determines the draft order, the earlier a team is knocked out of the NFL playoffs, the earlier they will pick in the draft.
Picks No. 19-24 go to the four teams knocked out in the Wild Card Round, ranked by their regular-season record (tiebreaker is once again strength of schedule). Picks No. 25-28 go to the teams who lost in the Divisional Round. The 29th and 30th picks go to the teams who lost in the conference title games, while the final two picks belong to the Super Bowl teams.