The NFL Draft order is determined by a combination of regular season records, postseason performance, and the strength of schedule in the 2021 season.
The Super Bowl winning Rams are 32; their opponents, the Bengals, are 31.
Next, the remaining teams are assigned to 4 groups based on their playoff performance: losers of the Conference Championships (29, 30), Divisional Playoffs (25-28), and Wild Card games (19-24); and non-playoff teams (1-18).
Within those groups, teams are ordered 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 10-7 record, or 4 non-playoff teams with a 8-9 record), there are additional tiebreaker steps, which starts by the easier (lower) strength of schedule picking first.
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.
2022 basic draft order
For the 2022 NFL Draft, the basic order of selections shown below (not including trades and compensatory selections). PS is how far a team advanced in the postseason. Sched is the win percentage of a team’s opponents (strength of schedule). No tie existed this year beyond 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.
Note that the Saints have forfeited their sixth-round selection due to coronavirus protocol violations in the 2020 season. The remainder of that round is shown with those picks shifting up one.