The 2022 NFL Draft First Round
The 87th annual meeting of National Football League franchises to select newly eligible players – otherwise known as the Draft – is due to take place in Paradise, Nevada between April 28th and April 30th, 2022. Nevada was due to host its first ever NFL draft back in 2020, but circumstances forced that event to be held remotely using video conferencing. The NFL decided it was only fair that Nevada and the city of Las Vegas got their turn, so awarded the 2022 draft to the city back in April 2020.
The End of the 21/22 NFL Season
Fans of the NFL witnessed an explosive finish to the regular season this year. Not only was there endless close-run battles on the field amongst the teams fighting for playoff spots, but even those teams who had already been eliminated from contention for the postseason still had an awful lot at stake because of the fast-approaching 2022 NFL Draft.
In the end, the first pick of the draft came right down to the wire; anybody who had been betting on NFL Draft Odds would have had a nail-biting time! In Week 18, the first pick changed hands multiple times before eventually settling safely in the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars for the second straight year. It was a dramatic situation, as the Jaguars had started the final day of the season needing a loss or a Lions win if they were to get the No. 1 overall pick.
The Fight for the First Overall Pick
It’s a strange scenario for any sports team to want to lose a game for any reason, but when the prize for losing is the first pick of the NFL draft… that must be a seriously tough situation for any team in the league. Still, the Jaguars went out on the field to win, and win they did, securing a stunning 26-11 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, putting their chances of the No.1 draft pick in serious danger.
The Jaguars were thrown a lifeline, however, when The Lions came out with a little surprise of their own. Their game was against the Green Bay Packers, a team that had already locked up the NFC’s top seed, yet the Lions were on fighting form and soon managed to find themselves with an 11-point lead.
The Packers began fighting back hard, putting the all-important first draft pick back in contention when they managed to retake the lead after a 62-yeard touchdown pass with less than five minutes remaining on the clock. This would have seen the Lions score the No.1 pick.
In what was an unbelievable end to an unbelievably game, Detroit responded with a six-play, 75-yard drive, capped by a 14-yard touchdown which resulted in a final score of 37-30 for the lions. Final result? First pick to the 3-14 Jaguars. As an interesting aside, this only the sixth time in history that a team has held the top pick in consecutive years. The Lions scored the second overall pick.
How the Draft Order is Determined
Picks in the NFL draft are arranged in reverse order from the regular-season records – IE, from worst to best. The first 18 picks are made up of non-playoff teams. Playoff teams are also ordered according to regular-season records, but consideration is also made for how far they advanced during the postseason. Picks 19-24 go to teams who are eliminated in the wild card round, whilst 25-28 go to those eliminated in the divisional round. Picks 29 and 30 go to the conference runners-up, whilst 31 is reserved for the loser of the Super Bowl and 32 goes to the Champions.
It’s a complicated structure to understand for those who don’t follow the game closely, but the easiest way to think about it is really just to consider the draft as a way of rebalancing the odds from year to year, in an effort to prevent any one team from becoming overly dominant in the same way that Europe’s soccer leagues are often led by the same handful of teams for years if not decades on end.
What is the Final Order for the First Round of the 2022 NFL Draft?
- 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
- Seattle Seahawks (via Denver, 7-10)
- New York Jets (via Seattle, 7-10)
- Washington Commanders, 7-10
- Minnesota Vikings, 8-9
- Houston Texans (via Cleveland, 8-9)
- Baltimore Ravens, 8-9
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami, 9-8)
- New Orleans Saints (from Philadelphia via Indianapolis, 9-8)
- Los Angeles Chargers, 9-8
- Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans, 9-8)
- New Orleans Saints (via Philadelphia, eliminated in wild card round)
- Pittsburgh Steelers, eliminated in wild card round
- New England Patriots, eliminated in wild card round
- Green Bay Packers (via Las Vegas, eliminated in wild card round)
- Arizona Cardinals, eliminated in wild card round
- Dallas Cowboys, eliminated in wild card round
- Buffalo Bills, eliminated in divisional round
- Tennessee Titans, eliminated in divisional round
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, eliminated in divisional round
- Green Bay Packers, eliminated in divisional round
- Kansas City Chiefs (from Miami via San Francisco, eliminated in NFC title game)
- Kansas City Chiefs, eliminated in AFC title game
- Cincinnati Bengals, Loser of Super Bowl LVI
- Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles, Winner of Super Bowl LVI)