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Before the supplemental draft, the NFL has its own draft lottery

Bill Daly; AP

Unlike the NBA and the NHL, the NFL does not have a draft lottery: The NFL bases its draft order on each team’s record, playoff performance and strength of schedule the previous season. Every NFL fan knows that.

But what most NFL fans don’t realize is that the NFL actually does use a lottery to determine the order of the supplemental draft. That lottery will take place on Thursday, just before the supplemental draft on Thursday afternoon.

Like the NBA and NHL, the NFL supplemental draft lottery is weighted so that worse teams get a better chance of having the highest picks. The first drawing will feature the 10 teams that won six or fewer games last season: Colts, Rams, Vikings, Browns, Buccaneers, Redskins, Jaguars, Dolphins, Panthers and Bills. The Colts will get their names put in the drawing 32 times, the Rams 31 times, and so on. Those 10 teams are guaranteed to have Top 10 picks, but the lottery will determine the exact order.

After that, a second drawing takes place with the 10 teams that won seven or more games last season but didn’t make the playoffs: Chiefs, Seahawks, Cardinals, Cowboys, Eagles, Jets, Raiders, Chargers, Bears, Titans. The Chiefs will get their names in the drawing 22 times, the Seahawks 21 times, and so on. Those 10 teams get picks 11-20.

Finally, the third drawing is for the 12 playoff teams, with the Super Bowl champion Giants getting their names in the drawing just once. The 12 playoff teams get draft lottery picks 21-32.

After the order is established through the three drawings, the supplemental draft is conducted with teams going in order, round by round, either passing on their order or making a pick. When a team makes a pick in the supplemental draft, it loses the corresponding pick in next year’s regular draft. So, for instance, if a team takes Baylor receiver Josh Gordon in the third round of the supplemental draft, that team will not have its third-round pick next year.

It’s surprising, given how popular the NFL is on television, that none of this is televised: Not the supplemental draft lottery and not the supplemental draft itself. Some day, expect to see the whole thing on NFL Network. But for now, you’ll just have to check PFT on Thursday afternoon to find out what happened in the supplemental draft.

The exact wording of the NFL supplemental draft lottery procedures appears below.

 

SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT LOTTERY PROCEDURES.

The League office will conduct said supplemental draft with member clubs via the NFL Waivers account. Immediately before each supplemental draft is to begin, the League office will conduct a lottery to determine the selection order of member clubs, weighted as follows:
(A) Each member club’s position will be weighted by assigning the weakest club the greatest number of lottery chances and the strongest club the fewest number. Team strength and weakness will be determined by the order of the first round of the immediately prior principal draft, exclusive of any trades affecting that prior draft (i.e., the weakest club will have its name in the drawing 32 times, the next weakest 31 times, etc., until the Super Bowl winner will have its name in once);

(B) Lottery chances for the weakest teams (those teams which won six or fewer games in the prior regular season) will be placed together in a container and drawn to determine the initial arrangement of places in the selection order equal to the total number of those teams;

(C) Lottery chances for the remaining teams, with the exception of the playoff teams, will then be placed together in a container and drawn to determine their places following those determined in the first drawing; and

(D) Lottery chances for the playoff teams next will be placed together in a container and drawn to determine the remaining places in the selection order.

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15 Responses to “Before the supplemental draft, the NFL has its own draft lottery”
  1. mikeinsanfran says: Jul 11, 2012 12:21 PM

    You missed answering one big question: What if a team holds another team’s pick? The Niners hold Carolina’s 3rd round pick. Can they use that on Josh (It will be a top 10 pick in the 3rd round) or must they only be allowed to use their own 3rd round pick (Likely last 5 in 3rd round)?

  2. snowpea84 says: Jul 11, 2012 12:38 PM

    No one cares about the supplemental draft. It’s about as exciting as the undrafted free agents. (Which is funny because people get more excited over them than over their teams 7th round picks.)

  3. geauxjay says: Jul 11, 2012 12:45 PM

    Are they letting the Saints pick, or is he going to steal that pick with no shown evidence too?

  4. jason49er says: Jul 11, 2012 12:55 PM

    The sad part is I’d rather watch the NFL supplemental draft than the NBA regular draft anyday.

  5. cbusbrownie says: Jul 11, 2012 12:56 PM

    It is true that there are no trades in the Supp draft.
    So if that is accurate, then Mike I think a team would be using a 2013 draft pick that is assigned to each team by the league for the above mentioned reasons, not a pick they attained via a trade. Sounds logical, but needs clarity I know.

    Oh, by the way, the minute the Supp Lotto and Draft are televised, I am right in from of my favorite TV, in my favorite chair with bells on.

  6. benh999 says: Jul 11, 2012 1:03 PM

    Makes sense since teams lose draft picks for a draft that’s order hasn’t been determined yet.

  7. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 11, 2012 1:13 PM

    They hold a lottery to see which team wins the right to pay millions of dollars to some guy who was expelled from college.

  8. bo1210 says: Jul 11, 2012 1:26 PM

    I’m fine with that concept, mainly because it’s only for the supp draft, but I find it interesting that they don’t talk about it. Makes me wonder what other secrets Goodell is keeping…

  9. bhindenemylines says: Jul 11, 2012 1:27 PM

    geauxjay says:
    Jul 11, 2012 12:45 PM
    Are they letting the Saints pick, or is he going to steal that pick with no shown evidence too?
    ——————————————

    All you Saints fans better quit your crying soon or else all of the tears will cause Katrina 2.0

    You probably still believe OJ is innocent.

    Shut up already.

  10. fatguystrangler says: Jul 11, 2012 1:29 PM

    You’re right. I had no idea how there was a lottery process for the Supplemental Draft.

  11. profootballwalk says: Jul 11, 2012 1:55 PM

    So the league does nothing about Suck for Luck, but they have a lottery for five also-rans?

  12. pleazenufalready says: Jul 11, 2012 3:03 PM

    If they want to take this approach for a draft that nobody cares about, then I guess it’s OK. However, they should NEVER take this approach for the regular draft like the NBA did. Everyone knows that the only reason the NBA went to that process was to make sure that the Knicks got Patrick Ewing. It was a joke of a procedure then and remains so today.

  13. samoanjungle says: Jul 11, 2012 3:55 PM

    Well it’s not on TV because we would be sitting there watching all the teams go “pass”, “pass”,”pass’ for like 90 times while Jerra Jones squirms in his chair going “giggity giggity” everytime a team passes.

  14. sportfreak1996 says: Jul 11, 2012 4:49 PM

    Always thought they should have a 4-team “Toilet Bowl” playoff for the top picks.

    The 4 worst teams play a tournament with Semifinals on the Saturday before the AFC/NFC Championship Games, then the Final during the week off before the Super Bowl (or the Saturday before the Super Bowl if there is no off week). Semifinals hosted by the Worst and 2nd-to-Worst teams (makes it a little tougher for the 3rd/4th teams to obtain the top picks)

    The winner of the tourney gets the #1 pick, the runner-up gets the #2 pick. The remaining teams are set by their record, so even if the worst team lost their Semifinal game, the worst pick they can get is #3.

    Am I wrong, but wouldn’t this get much better ratings than the meaningless Pro Bowl? 3 more NFL “Playoff” games, even two bad teams that match-up well can play a good game, what’s not to like?

  15. jedicurt says: Jul 12, 2012 12:44 PM

    “After the order is established through the three drawings, the supplemental draft is conducted with teams going in order, round by round, either passing on their order or making a pick.”

    ummm actually… no… this is not how it works at all… at teams e-mail the league the player name and round inwhich they would like to take the player… the highest round (1 to 7) given is the winner… if two teams both put the same round on a player, then it goes to the order established by the lottery.

    how is it that i know this, and you are the one getting paid to write????

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