With the 2015 NFL regular season now complete, the 2016 draft order has been set for the teams that didn’t earn playoff berths this year.
The order for the top 20 is determined first by record — the teams with the worst records get the highest picks. The tiebreaker for teams that finish with identical records is strength of schedules. The easier the team’s schedule, the higher its pick. The thinking there is that if two teams finished with the same record, the team that played the easier schedule is likely the “worst” of the two teams, earning that club the higher pick.
Via NFL.com, here’s how the top 20 breaks down for the 2016 NFL draft, with each team’s record and opponents’ winning percentage noted in parentheses:
- Tennessee Titans (3-13, .492)
- Cleveland Browns (3-13, .531)
- San Diego Chargers (4-12, .527)
- Dallas Cowboys (4-12, .531)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11, .473)
- Baltimore Ravens (5-11, .508)
- San Francisco 49ers (5-11, .539)
- Miami Dolphins (6-10, .469)
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10, .484)
- New York Giants (6-10, .500)
- Chicago Bears (6-10, .547)
- New Orleans Saints (7-9, .504)
- Philadelphia Eagles (7-9, .508)
- Oakland Raiders (7-9, .512)
- St. Louis Rams (7-9, .527)
- Detroit Lions (7-9, .535)
- Atlanta Falcons (8-8, .481)
- Indianapolis Colts (8-8, .500)
- Buffalo Bills (8-8, .508)
- New York Jets (10-6, .441)
While teams that played weaker schedules will get the higher draft picks – via tiebreaker – in the first round, that’s not the case for every round. Teams that finished with identical records will rotate order throughout the draft, so the Browns, for instance, will pick ahead of the Titans in round two.
As for the remaining 12 spots, those will be determined based on which teams are eliminated from the playoffs first. The four teams knocked out in the Wild Card round will pick 21st through 24th, for example — the clubs with the weaker records will get the higher picks. The full order will be determined after the Super Bowl, with this year’s champion getting the last pick of the first round — unless, of course, that’s the Patriots, who won’t have a first-rounder in 2016.