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NFL Draft Basics

Determining Order of Selection

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First Round

• If there is an expansion team, they select first. If there is more than one expansion team, a coin flip determines who picks first.

• If there are no expansion teams, the team with the lowest winning percentage at the end of the previous season drafts first in the NFL Draft

Non-Playoff Teams

• All other teams that fail to make the playoffs are then placed in order from lowest winning percentage to the highest. (For teams with identical records, see tiebreakers below.)

Playoff Teams

• Next come the teams who were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, placed in order from lowest winning percentage to the highest (based on regular-season record), followed by those eliminated in the second round, again placed in order from lowest winning percentage to highest.

• After the above teams are placed, the losers of the conference championship games take the next two spots with the team with the lowest winning percentage during the regular season placed ahead of the other.

• The Super Bowl loser drafts next to last.

• The Super Bowl winner drafts last.

Rounds 2-7

• In subsequent rounds, teams with the same record rotate draft positions regardless of whether or not they made the playoffs. The only exception is the Super Bowl teams, who always pick last.

Tiebreakers

Strength of schedule for the previous season is the first tie-breaker for teams with the same winning percentage. The team with the lowest strength of schedule percentage wins the tiebreaker and picks ahead of all other teams with the same record.

• Divisional and conference records are the next step in the tie-breaking procedure.

• As a last resort, a coin toss is used to determine the order of selection for teams with the same winning percentage.

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