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FootballNFLHow the 2020 Draft order is determined

How the 2020 Draft order is determined

The NFL Draft order is determined by a combination of regular season records, postseason performance, and the strength of schedule in the 2019 season.

The Super Bowl winner is 32, the Super Bowl loser is 31.

Next, assign the remaining teams in 4 groups based on their playoff performance: losers of the Conference Championships (29, 30), Divisional Playoffs (25-28), and Wild Card games (21-24); and non-playoff teams (1-20).

Within those groups, order teams based on win-loss record in the regular season, with the better record getting the later pick. Teams in different groups with the same W-L record are not tied. For example, the team with the highest record of Wild Card losers will be 24, even if it has a better record than a Divisional Playoff loser.

If there is a tie within a group (examples: 2 Wild Card losers with a 10-6 record, or 4 non-playoff teams with a 7-9 record), these tiebreaker steps are applied:

  1. First rank teams by strength of schedule, highest percentage getting the later pick
  2. If all remaining tied teams are in the same division, run the division tiebreaker to assign teams starting with the later pick
  3. If all remaining tied teams are in the same conference, run the conference tiebreaker to assign teams starting with the later pick
  4. Interconference ties that remain are broken by a new set of tiebreakers, eliminating the need for the coin flip

(Note that this will not necessarily match the division and conference seeds from the previous season, as the tiebreakers will only include teams tied after the strength of schedule step.)

Teams that are involved in a tiebreaker will cycle through the order each round, based on the tiebreaker order. Thus, in a 4-team tiebreaker, a team will rotate 1-4-3-2, the second team 2-1-4-3, the third 3-2-1-4, and the fourth 4-3-2-1.

2020 basic draft order

For the 2020 NFL Draft, the basic order of selections shown below (not including trades, compensatory selections, and forfeited picks). PS is how far a team advanced in the postseason. Sched is the win percentage of a team’s opponents (strength of schedule). Tiebreaker lists how ties are broken after the strength-of-schedule tiebreaker. Subsequent rounds shows the order cycle in Rounds 2-7, where the first round follows the basic order. (When these columns are blank, that team has the same position every round.) Color banded rows group the teams that are involved in the same tiebreaker cycle.

# PS W-L Sched Tiebreaker Subsequent Rounds
1. OUT Cincinnati 2-14 .553
2. Washington 3-13 .500
3. Detroit 3-12-1 .506
4. N.Y. Giants 4-12 .473
5. Miami 5-11 .484 7 6 5 7 6 5
6. L.A. Chargers 5-11 .514 5 7 6 5 7 6
7. Carolina 5-11 .549 6 5 7 6 5 7
8. Arizona 5-10-1 .530
9. Jacksonville 6-10 .484 10 9 10 9 10 9
10. Cleveland 6-10 .533 9 10 9 10 9 10
11. N.Y. Jets 7-9 .473 16 15 14 13 12 11
12. Las Vegas 7-9 .482 11 16 15 14 13 12
13. Indianapolis 7-9 .492 12 11 16 15 14 13
14. Tampa Bay 7-9 .500 13 12 11 16 15 14
15. Denver 7-9 .510 14 13 12 11 16 15
16. Atlanta 7-9 .545 15 14 13 12 11 16
17. Dallas 8-8 .479 19 18 17 19 18 17
18. Pittsburgh 8-8 .502 17 19 18 17 19 18
19. Chicago 8-8 .508 18 17 19 18 17 19
20. L.A. Rams 9-7 .536
21. WC Philadelphia 9-7 .455
22. Buffalo 10-6 .462
23. New England 12-4 .469
24. New Orleans 13-3 .486
25. DIV Minnesota 10-6 .477 26 25 26 25 26 25
26. Houston 10-6 .520 25 26 25 26 25 26
27. Seattle 11-5 .531
28. Baltimore 14-2 .494
29. CC KC/TEN loser of AFC championship game
30. SF/GB 13-3 loser of NFC championship game
31. SBL
32. SBW

 

Ben Austro
Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor-in-chief and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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