The Cincinnati Bengals won the race to the bottom of the NFL standings and, thus, they own the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. After that, Washington, the Lions, the Giants, and the Dolphins round out the top five.
For a while, it seemed like a competition for the right to draft Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He won a national championship during his freshman year with the Crimson Tide and earned unanimous All-American honors as a sophomore in 2018. But that’s no longer the case. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow put together a tremendous 2019 season, while Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending hip injury in November.
It appears a lock that it’s Burrow headed to Cincinnati, but that leaves plenty of other compelling options for teams at the top of the draft order. Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, and Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs won’t have to wait long to hear their names called in April.
Here’s a quick breakdown of how this whole draft order thing works:
- Teams are sorted by record, with the worst team picking first and the Super Bowl champion picking last in each round.
- Ties are broken by strength of schedule. Teams that played an easier schedule pick ahead of those that played more a difficult slate. If teams are still tied, the tiebreakers to determine playoff seeding are used.
- Picks 21-32 belong to teams that make the playoffs. The losers in the Wild Card Round draft first, followed by teams that lose in the Divisional Round, and so on.
A few selections have already been traded. The Dolphins own both the Steelers’ and Texans’ first-round picks. The Jaguars have the Rams’ pick after a trade involving cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and the Bears still owe the Raiders a 2020 first-round pick as part of their 2018 trade for Khalil Mack.
A couple more trades in the month leading up to the draft changed up the order too. The Colts sent their first-rounder to the 49ers for DeForest Buckner, while the Bills got the Vikings’ pick in exchange for Stefon Diggs.
The full order after Super Bowl 54 looks like this:
2020 NFL Draft order
|13||49ers (via Colts)||7||9||0||0.438||0.49219|
|18||Dolphins (via Steelers)||8||8||0||0.500||0.49414|
|19||Raiders (via Bears)||8||8||0||0.500||0.50781|
|20||Jaguars (via Rams)||9||7||0||0.563||0.53125|
|22||Vikings (via Bills)||10||6||0||0.625||0.44248|
|26||Dolphins (via Texans)||10||6||0||0.625||0.51563|