Updated 2022 NFL Draft Order Following Week 15 Results

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2021

Updated 2022 NFL Draft Order Following Week 15 Results

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    While the playoff races in the AFC and NFC are still shaping up—and a large chunk of the league is still in contention—some franchises are already focused on what's ahead.

    The Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars are already in the market for new head coaches, and 2022 free agency is likely to feature a lot of big names. The big event of the NFL offseason, though, is the draft. It remains very much unclear what April's draft will look like.

    No team has locked up the No. 1 pick, and there still isn't a consensus top prospect. Three weeks of NFL action remain to figure out the first part of the equation. Finalizing draft boards is a process that will likely last until opening night on April 28 in Las Vegas.

    The draft order, for now, looks like this:

Updated 2022 Draft Order

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    David Dermer/Associated Press

    1. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-12

    2. Detroit Lions 2-11-1

    3. Houston Texans 3-11

    4. New York Jets 3-11

    5. New York Giants 4-10

    6. New York Giants (from Chicago 4-9)

    7. Carolina Panthers 5-9

    8. New York Jets (from Seattle 5-8)

    9. Atlanta Falcons 6-8

    10. Philadelphia Eagles 6-7

    11. Minnesota Vikings 6-7

    12. Washington Football Team 6-7

    13. Las Vegas Raiders 6-7

    14. Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami 7-7)

    15. Denver Broncos 7-7

    16. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-6-1

    17. Cleveland Browns 7-6

    18. Baltimore Ravens 8-6

    19. New Orleans Saints 7-7

    20. Buffalo Bills 8-6

    21. Miami Dolphins (from San Francisco 8-6)

    22. Los Angeles Chargers 8-6

    23. Philadelphia Eagles (from Indianapolis 8-6)

    24. Detroit Lions (from Rams 9-4)

    25. Cincinnati Bengals 8-6

    26. Tennessee Titans 9-5

    27. Arizona Cardinals 10-4

    28. Dallas Cowboys 10-4

    29. New England Patriots 9-5

    30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-4

    31. Kansas City Chiefs 10-4

    32. Green Bay Packers 11-3


    *Draft order via Tankathon. Picks 19-32 to be determined by NFL postseason.

Draft Order Outlook

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    Lon Horwedel/Associated Press

    Congratulations are in order for the Detroit Lions, who pulled off arguably the upset of the season Sunday. Not only did the Lions beat the 10-win Arizona Cardinals, but they also dominated them 30-12.

    According to NFL Research, this marked the third time since 1970 that a team with the league's worst record beat a team holding or tied for its best record. The last two times it happened, the loser of the matchup went on to win the Super Bowl.

    While getting the win will do a lot for Detroit's confidence—and for coach Dan Campbell's future—it took Detroit out of the No. 1 draft slot. The Jacksonville Jaguars took over the top spot following a loss to the Houston Texans. Houston fell to No. 3 in the draft order.

    Jacksonville claimed the top spot mere days after firing head coach Urban Meyer.

    "After deliberation over many weeks and a thorough analysis of the entirety of Urban's tenure with our team, I am bitterly disappointed to arrive at the conclusion that an immediate change is imperative for everyone," Jaguars franchise owner Shad Khan said in a statement.

    Having quarterback Trevor Lawrence on the roster and the No. 1 pick in its pocket could make Jacksonville an alluring destination for potential coaching hires.

    After falling to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, the 3-11 New York Jets are also still in the mix for the top pick. It's worth noting that they play Jacksonville in Week 16—one of those win-and-also-lose scenarios.

    The 4-10 New York Giants are technically still alive for the No. 1 pick, though it would take a heck of a lot for New York to wind up in that slot. The Giants could, however, end up with a pair of top-five selections, as they own the Chicago Bears' first-rounder following last April's trade that landed Justin Fields in the Windy City.

    While it has no bearing on the race for the No. 1 pick, it's worth noting that the Philadelphia Eagles have earned a second first-round selection via the Carson Wentz trade.

    Philadelphia netted a conditional second-round pick from the Indianapolis Colts in the deal. It needed Wentz to play at least 75 percent of the offensive snaps—or 70 percent with a playoff berth—for the second-rounder to become a first. According to Jeff Kerr of CBSSports.com, Wentz officially crossed the snap-count threshold Saturday night.

Top Prospects and Possibilities for the No. 1 Spot

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    Unlike last year—when multiple franchises may have been "tanking for Trevor" (Lawrence)—there is no consensus top prospect for which to vie. A lot is going to hinge on which team lands the No. 1 selection and how desperate that team is for a new quarterback.

    It's early in the predraft process, but there isn't currently a quarterback deemed worthy of the top pick. In a recent mock draft by CBSSports.com's Josh Edwards, for example, Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett is the first quarterback off the board at ninth overall.

    We've seen quarterbacks jump up draft boards in the past, though, so things could dramatically change between now and April. In 2019, Kyler Murray wasn't even a guaranteed NFL prospect until January, and he wound up going No. 1 overall.

    Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder is the top quarterback on the Bleacher Report Scouting Department's big board as the 22nd overall prospect.

    If a quarterback doesn't jump, we're likely to see a pass-rusher taken first overall. Three of the top four prospects on the B/R board— Oregon's Kayvon Thibodeaux, Purdue's George Karlaftis and Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson—are edge-rushers.

    ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. placed Hutchinson at the top of his rankings earlier this month. Hutchinson and the other top sack artists are going to get heavy consideration from teams like the Texans.

    "Rookie quarterback Davis Mills' performance for the remainder of the season figures to influence how the Houston Texans will handle their offseason," ESPN's Adam Schefter wrote. "If the Texans end up with a top-three pick in next year's NFL draft, they could lock into selecting a defensive end ... if Mills plays well over the final five games of 2021, league sources told ESPN."

    Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal and interior offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum round out the top five on the B/R board. Seven of the last 10 No. 1 selections have been quarterbacks. One offensive tackle (Eric Fisher) and two pass-rushers (Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney) were also taken at the top in the last decade.