The NFL Draft has arrived with the usual glitz and glam dialled up to 11 with the show coming from Las Vegas in 2022.
Hundreds of the finest college football players will have their fate determined by 32 NFL teams aiming to pick out the cream of the crop over a three-day period.
Draft systems are commonplace among US sports but are rarely ever deployed across European sports leagues. This won't stop UK fans lapping up the NFL Draft with a host of hot prospects ready to give their new teams a shot in the arm ahead of the new season.
Sky Sports is gearing up to show all three days of the NFL Draft live across its channels, and we're here to help you make sense of it all.
There's a lot to wrap your head around, but we're going to walk you through the basics of the NFL Draft, as well as the Draft order and some of the big names to look out for during the first round.
RadioTimes.com brings you all the details on how the NFL Draft works so you can enjoy the chaos from the comfort of your own home.
How does the NFL Draft work?
The NFL Draft is a system with a twofold purpose. Firstly, it is designed to filter the best college football players into the professional NFL world.
College football is big business across the US, with stadiums topping 100,000 capacities and fans supporting their college teams in the same way UK football fans would follow their local professional team.
However, the time must come for all college players to graduate, and when they do they can choose to declare their availability in the NFL Draft.
Secondly, it seeks to balance out the league to prevent one team dominating every season.
There are 32 teams in the NFL, divided into two conferences, that are then divided into four divisions in each.
At the end of the season, all 32 teams' win percentages are ranked in one long list of 32 teams, with the team who has suffered the worst win percentage in No.1 spot descending to the team who wins the Super Bowl in No.32. This becomes the basis of the Draft order.
By allowing the 'worst' team in the NFL to pick the best college players, the NFL constantly tries to rebalance itself.
This long list of 32 teams is then repeated seven times, for the seven rounds of the Draft. Each team starts with seven 'picks', one per round.
The teams each have time on the clock to select one college player from the pool of names available, taking turns in the chosen order to do so, until seven rounds have passed.
Simple, right? Well, the basics are, but this is the NFL, and in the NFL, wheeling and dealing is crucial.
Some teams may prefer to trade their high draft pick for multiple lower picks.
For example, if the Atlanta Falcons were desperate for one particular quarterback who may not be on the board by the time they're on the clock, they could trade their No.8 and No.43 overall picks to the Houston Texans for their No.3 overall pick.
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This means the Falcons stand a better chance of landing their man, while the Texans, who may not need to draft a top-four QB, would be happy to wait a few more turns and gain an extra pick in the second round (No.43).
On top of trades on the night, a number of draft picks have already been traded throughout the last few seasons for existing professional players.
For example, the Cleveland Browns won't feature in the first round of the Draft because they traded their 2022, 2023 and 2024 first round picks (plus three more later round picks) to the Houston Texans in a colossal trade for QB Deshaun Watson.
That's an extreme example, but it clearly shows the Browns' and Texans' priorities: the Browns desperately wanted to plug an elite QB into their existing team, the Texans have doubled their hand of first rounds picks to steadily build over the coming seasons.
In fact, eight teams won't actually participate in the first round having traded their picks away.
That leads us nicely onto the NFL Draft order for 2022.
NFL Draft order 2022
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Detroit Lions
- Houston Texans
- New York Jets
- New York Giants
- Carolina Panthers
- New York Giants (from Chicago Bears)
- Atlanta Falcons
- Seattle Seahawks (from Denver Broncos)
- New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks)
- Washington Commanders
- Minnesota Vikings
- Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns)
- Baltimore Ravens
- Philadelphia Eagles (from Miami Dolphins)
- New Orleans Saints (from Indianapolis Colts through Philadelphia Eagles)
- Los Angeles Chargers
- Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans Saints)
- New Orleans Saints (from Philadelphia Eagles)
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- New England Patriots
- Green Bay Packers (from Las Vegas Raiders)
- Arizona Cardinals
- Dallas Cowboys
- Buffalo Bills
- Tennessee Titans
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Green Bay Packers
- Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco 9ers through Miami Dolphins)
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Detroit Lions (from Los Angeles Rams)
Who will be picked first?
That's the multi-million dollar question! Who will be the No.1 overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft?
Quarterbacks are the most valuable, most influential players in a team. They're the guys who can turn losers into winners, nearly-men into champions, and they're the guys who always tend to go first in the Draft as failing teams seek an instant injection of youthful quality.
Former Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence was seen by many as the best prospect in last year's Draft and was promptly selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars. This means they won't opt for a quarterback with their top pick in 2022.
The 2022 Draft is set to be a less predictable affair with defensive ends Travon Walker and Aidan Hutchinson among the hottest talents on offer.
Teams will have their targets in mind, with months of intensive scouting and research going into their plans, but that could all change should an unexpected pick be made or a blockbuster trade gazumps teams around them. And that's what makes the NFL Draft such a special occasion to enjoy.