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NFL Draft Order Creates Intrigue at the Top

The 2024 NFL Draft is shaping up to be a pivotal event for many teams, with the first-round order setting the stage for strategic decisions that could impact franchises for years. Before we get too deep into the draft order, we need to break down how it works, and which teams are on the clock first.

The NFL Draft order is determined based on the previous season’s performance, with the team with the worst record picking first and the Super Bowl champion picking last. It’s a simple system that all other leagues should adopt.

NFL Draft Order Creates Intrigue at the Top
Bryce Young #9 of the Carolina Panthers - Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP

Here’s a look at some NFL draft odds to consider!

Here is how it works:

  1. Teams missing playoffs select first (1-18), with the lowest record team picking first.
  2. Wild Card round exits are assigned picks 19-24.
  3. Divisional round exits receive picks 25-28.
  4. Conference Championship losers are given picks 29-30.
  5. The Super Bowl runner-up is awarded pick 31.
  6. The Super Bowl champion gets pick 32.
  7. Tiebreakers include schedule strength, division, conference, interconference standings, and a coin flip.
  8. The same order is used across all draft rounds, with tied teams rotating positions each round.
  9. Teams awarded up to 32 compensatory picks after rounds 3-7 for significant free agent losses, weeks before the draft.


2024 NFL First-Round Draft Order

  1. Carolina → Chicago
  2. Washington
  3. New England
  4. Arizona
  5. LA Chargers
  6. NY Giants
  7. Tennessee
  8. Atlanta
  9. Chicago
  10. NY Jets
  11. Minnesota
  12. Denver
  13. Las Vegas
  14. New Orleans
  15. Indianapolis
  16. Seattle
  17. Jacksonville
  18. Cincinnati
  19. LA Rams
  20. Pittsburgh
  21. Miami
  22. Philadelphia
  23. Cleveland → Houston
  24. Dallas
  25. Green Bay
  26. Tampa Bay
  27. Houston → Arizona
  28. Buffalo
  29. Detroit
  30. Baltimore
  31. San Francisco
  32. Kansas City

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Importance of First-Round Picks

Historically, the NFL Draft has been a critical mechanism for teams to build rosters. Since its inception in 1936, the draft has evolved from a modest meeting of team owners to a highly anticipated event. The draft order, particularly in the first round, is crucial as it often includes the most talented and sought-after college players.

Teams with low first-round picks have historically made significant impacts by selecting players who turned out to be NFL stars. For example, teams like the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks have been particularly adept at finding value late in the first round or beyond, selecting players like Tom Brady and Richard Sherman, respectively, who were not top picks but went on to become key contributors to their teams’ successes and future Hall of Famers.

2024 NFL Draft Pick Order Notes

In the 2024 NFL Draft, teams are looking to address various needs, from quarterbacks to defensive linemen, based on their performance in the previous season and their existing roster gaps. Each team’s strategy will heavily depend on its draft position and the depth of talent available in the draft class.

For instance, the Arizona Cardinals, picking at No. 4, need to focus on wide receivers, defensive tackles, and edge rushers. Meanwhile, the New York Giants, with the sixth pick, are looking at defensive tackles, running backs, and interior offensive linemen.

The Chicago Bears, having the first and ninth picks, will have significant opportunities to bolster their squad, possibly looking at quarterbacks, wide receivers, and defensive talent. If Chicago hits paydirt with its top-10 picks, the Bears could be an unseen threat heading into 2024.

Speaking of the Bears, their pick came for the Carolina Panthers, who, despite a ton of glaring needs, have zero first-round picks in the upcoming draft. With their first pick coming at No. 33, the Panthers must crush their offseason scouting if they hope to grow in 2024 with no first-rounders.

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