The offseason officially began for the Detroit Lions Sunday after their 26-6 loss to Seattle in the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Now the focus shifts to free agency and the draft, and the important element of improving this roster so Detroit can be right back in the playoffs next season.
Speaking of the draft, they now know where they'll be picking this year.
The 1-20 slots are made up of the 20 teams that did not qualify for the playoffs. The Cleveland Browns (1-15) have the No. 1 overall pick.
After that, the order is based on how the teams in the playoffs finish. The four teams that lose in the Wild Card round of the playoffs next weekend will occupy the 21-24 slots based on winning percentage.
Because Detroit was the only nine-win team in the playoffs, their loss Saturday means they’re slotted into the No. 21 spot in this year’s draft.
The subsequent losers in each round of the playoffs after that will be slotted as such until the final two spots – Numbers 31 and 32 – are occupied by the Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl loser.
In case of teams finishing with identical winning percentages, strength of schedule is the tiebreaker. 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 tie-breaking scenarios. As a last resort, a coin toss is used to determine the order of selection for teams with the same winning percentage.
Here’s a look at the draft order through Saturday’s playoff games:
(Note: A coin flip at the NFL Scouting Combine next month will determine the No. 14 & No. 15 pick between Philadelphia and Indianapolis)
1. Cleveland Browns 1-15
2. San Francisco 49ers 2-14
3. Chicago Bears 3-13
4. Jacksonville Jaguars 3-13
5. Tennessee Titans (via Rams) 4-12
6. New York Jets 5-11
7. San Diego Chargers 5-11
8. Carolina Panthers 6-10
9. Cincinnati Bengals 6-9 -1
10. Buffalo Bills 7-9
11. New Orleans Saints 7-9
12. Cleveland Browns (via Eagles) 7-9
13. Arizona Cardinals 7-8 -1
14. Philadelphia Eagles (via Vikings) 8-8
14. Indianapolis Colts 8-8
16. Baltimore Ravens 8-8
17. Washington Redskins 8-7 -1
18. Tennessee Titans 9-7
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-7
20. Denver Broncos 9-7
21. Detroit Lions 9-7
22. Oakland Raiders 12-4