2022 NFL Draft order gets a major shakeup in season finale

Tyler Huntley #2 of the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Tyler Huntley #2 of the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

The NFL Draft order is now officially set for teams that did not make the playoffs. Here’s how much the draft order changed in the season finale.

If you are a fan of a team that had already been eliminated from playoff contention this year, I don’t blame you in the slightest if you pulled for your team to drop the final game of the season. While franchises are hardly guaranteed to make good choices in the NFL Draft, having elite draft capital has historically proven to make a difference.

For some teams, it’s a matter of inching a bit higher up the board in order to land their future franchise quarterback. For others, it’s about being able to grab an elite prospect you wouldn’t otherwise see later in the first round.

While we still don’t know how things are going to play out for the 14 NFL playoff teams this year, we witnessed quite the shakeup in the 2022 NFL Draft order for those teams that missed out on making it to the post-season. For these teams, the draft order is now finalized, and looks like this (draft order via Tankathon):

1Jacksonville0.176Won 1
2Detroit0.206Won 1
3Houston0.235Lost 2
4NY Jets0.235Lost 2
5NY Giants0.235Lost 6
6Carolina0.294Lost 7
7NY Giants (via CHI)0.353Lost 1
8Atlanta0.412Lost 2
9Denver0.412Lost 4
10NY Jets (via SEA)0.412Won 2
11Washington0.412Won 1
12Minnesota0.471Won 1
13Cleveland0.471Won 1
14Baltimore0.471Lost 6
15Philadelphia (via MIA)0.529Won 1
16Philadelphia (via IND)0.529Lost 2
17LA Chargers0.529Lost 1
18New Orleans0.529Won 2

It’s interesting to see where some of these teams ended up. Earlier in the season, it was looking like the Baltimore Ravens were going to be picking in the late 20s. However, after a six-game losing streak, John Harbaugh’s team wound up with the 14th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. With a loss in Week 18, the Ravens actually jumped ahead of four teams with a  9-8 record on the season.

The Denver Broncos benefited similarly with a late-season losing streak. While this collapse was no doubt hard for fans to stomach late in the season, Denver now owns the 9th overall pick in the draft after a four-game losing steak. Had they gone 2-2 in their final four games, they would be picking in the late teens. The Panthers and Giants also benefited in the long run from late-season losing streaks.

Why NFL Draft order matters

No team should ever live to tank, but there are certain times when unintentionally losing football games isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Cardinals, for example, were able to turn their franchise around after going 3-13 in 2018 by selecting QB Kyler Murray with the number one overall pick. Likewise, the Chargers had Justin Herbert fall into their lap with the 6th overall pick after a down season in 2020.

Some of these teams that fell apart late in the season still need a handful of cornerstone players to help turn their franchise around, while others might just be one blue-chip draft stud away from competing for a championship.

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Obviously, winning the Super Bowl should be the ultimate goal for every team. But for those whose teams are now out of the running, at least fans can start looking forward to the 2022 NFL Draft. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the draft order plays out.