In 2013 and 2014, fans of the Minnesota Vikings got to spend the later part of the season discussing the upcoming NFL Draft, because playoff contention was a distant memory by about Thanksgiving. This season, the Vikings are returning to the playoffs, so we don't know where they're selecting yet, but it's never too early to take a look at the draft order to see who is selecting where.
The top twenty selections in this year's draft have been determined, with the Tennessee Titans currently on the clock with the #1 overall pick. Here is a look at who is selecting where among the non-playoff teams.
|3||San Diego Chargers||4-12||.528|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||5-11||.539|
|9||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6-10||.484|
|10||New York Giants||6-10||.498|
|12||New Orleans Saints||7-9||.504|
|15||St. Louis Rams||7-9||.528|
|20||New York Jets||10-6||.441|
Remember, when two teams are tied for the same draft position, the first tiebreaker is your Strength of Schedule, with the team with the lower SoS getting the higher pick. That's why the Titans are ahead of the Browns for the first overall pick, as they had a 3-13 record against what was determined to be a weaker schedule than the Browns had.
The draft positioning for the twelve playoff teams is determined by where they are eliminated from the post-season.
-The four teams that lose on Wild Card Weekend will select between 21 and 24, ranked by record.
-The four teams that lose in the Divisional round will select between 25 and 28.*
-The two teams that lose the Conference Championship Games will pick at 29 and 30.*
-The team that loses the Super Bowl will pick at #31.*
-The team that wins the Super Bowl will pick at #32.*
You'll notice the *s after some of those qualifiers there. That's because, if you recall, the New England Patriots will be forced to forfeit their first round pick this year after the kerfluffle with them deflating footballs in last year's AFC Championship Game. As a result, there will only be 31 first round picks this year, meaning that the teams that wind up drafting after the Patriots. . .provided New England doesn't win the Super Bowl. . .will all move up one spot on the draft board. Since the Patriots have a first-round bye, the earliest they can be eliminated is the divisional round. No more than seven teams will be affected by New England giving up their selection.
We're not going to know exactly where the Minnesota Vikings are going to be drafting until next weekend at the earliest. I have a funny feeling that most fans of the purple are perfectly okay with that.