The regular season in the National Football League is in the books, and with that there are a bunch of teams that can start looking forward to the 2023 NFL Draft, which will take place in Kansas City this year from 27-29 April.
The first-round slots of all the non-playoff teams have been determined. That encompasses the first eighteen picks and does not include the Minnesota Vikings (but it does include the rest of the NFC North). Let’s take a look at how those first 18 picks have fallen. After each team listed is their record and their strength of schedule. Strength of schedule is the first tiebreaker when it comes to sorting out teams with the same record, with the team with the lower strength of schedule getting a higher draft pick.
- Chicago Bears (3-14, .572)
- Houston Texans (3-13-1, .481)
- Arizona Cardinals (4-13, .529)
- Indianapolis Colts (4-12-1, .512)
- Seattle Seahawks (via Denver Broncos, 5-12, .481)
- Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Rams, 5-12, .519)
- Las Vegas Raiders (6-11, .474)
- Atlanta Falcons (7-10, .467)
- Carolina Panthers (7-10, .472)
- Philadelphia Eagles (via New Orleans Saints, 7-10, .507)
- Tennessee Titans (7-10, .510)
- Houston Texans (via Cleveland Browns, 7-10, .524)
- New York Jets (7-10, .539)
- New England Patriots (8-9, .502)
- Green Bay Packers (8-9, .524)
- Washington Commanders (8-8-1, .536)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (9-8, .519)
- Detroit Lions (9-8, .535)
Here’s how the rest of the picks will be determined:
- Picks 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24 will go to the teams that lose on Wild Card Weekend.
- Picks 25, 26, 27, and 28 will go to the teams that lose in the Divisional round.
- Picks 29 and 30 will go to the teams that lose the Conference Championship Games.
- Pick 31 will go to the team that loses the Super Bowl.
- Pick 32 will go to the Minnesota Vikings. . .I mean, the team that wins the Super Bowl. (Look, we can still dream, I think.)
All the playoff losers will be sorted by which round they lose in, as you can see above, and then they’ll be slotted by record with the worst team getting the 19th pick, the next-worst team getting the 20th pick, and so on.
If the Vikings should happen to lose to the Giants this weekend, they will (likely) pick at #24 because their 13-4 record is better than almost everyone in the Wild Card round. They have the same 13-4 record as San Francisco, but the 49ers' strength of schedule is worse than Minnesota’s (.417 for San Francisco, .474 for Minnesota), so if both of those teams were to lose the Niners would end up with a higher pick than the Vikings.
Also, it’s worth noting that the Miami Dolphins have forfeited their first-round pick because they were found to be in violation of league tampering rules earlier this season. That means that any team that is behind Miami in the first round would, for all intents and purposes, move up one spot because the Dolphins won’t be selecting anyone.
That’s a look at how the first eighteen picks of the 2023 NFL Draft have shaken out with the regular season now complete. We’ll be sure to let you know where the Vikings are picking as soon as it’s determined.