By virtue of a 2-14 record compiled against teams with a combined .486 winning percentage, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will make the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, which is to begin on Thursday, April 30.
The NFL has come out with the 2015 draft order for all of the teams that did not qualify for the playoffs, and for teams finishing with the same records the tiebreaker is strength of schedule.
For example, even though the Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans both finished at 2-14, the Titans will pick second overall because their 2-14 was accomplished vs. opponents with a better winning percentage than the Buccaneers' 2-14 (.506-.486). Because the aim is to reward the worst teams with the highest draft picks, Tampa Bay will pick first overall and the Titans will pick second overall.
The draft order for all playoff teams is determined by how far into the postseason they advance, with final regular season records not factoring into it. So for example, should the Carolina Panthers win the Super Bowl, they would pick 32nd overall in ever round even though their regular season record was 7-8-1.
Teams that lose in the Wild Card Round will draft in the 21st through 24th positions in all rounds; the losers in the Divisional rounds will draft in the 25th through 28th positions; the losers of the Conference championship games will pick either 29th or 30th in each round; the loser of the Super Bowl picks 31st; and the winner of the Super Bowl picks 32nd in every round.
The confirmed portion of the 2015 draft order so far is as follows:
- Tampa Bay
- N.Y. Jets
- N.Y. Giants
- St. Louis
- New Orleans
- San Francisco
- San Diego
- Kansas City