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NFL Draft order: What does Cardinals-Broncos mean for the top five order

The Cardinals face the Broncos in Denver on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the 2022 NFL Draft order.

NFL My Cause My Cleats signage on display on the goal post in a general view during a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on December 11, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Results update: The Broncos beat the Cardinals 24-15 on Sunday. Denver improves to 4-10 and their pick will be No. 3 overall pending the Rams outcome. The Cardinals drop to 4-10 and move into the No. 4 spot, pending MNF.

The Arizona Cardinals and Denver Broncos face off on Sunday afternoon in Denver with draft picks implications on the line. The game kicks off at 4:05 p.m. ET and the Broncos are a field goal favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook.

Denver has been eliminated from playoff contention while Arizona is circling the drain. The Cardinals will be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss to Denver, or a tie and a Giants-Commanders tie.

Current NFL Draft order

The Seahawks hold the Broncos first round draft picks due to the Russell Wilson trade. We’ll be referencing “Denver’s draft position” but Seattle is the team that will end up with the pick. Denver is currently 3-10 and tied with the Bears behind the 1-11-1 Texans. The tiebreaker for draft order is strength of schedule, with the weaker SOS getting the higher pick. If SOS is tied, then it goes to a coin flip. The Broncos enter Sunday with a significantly weaker SOS than the Bears and it seems unlikely Chicago will move past them there.

The Cardinals are 4-9 and hold the seventh pick following the Colts loss to the Vikings on Saturday. Arizona is tied with the Rams and Saints but has the strongest SOS of the three.

Draft order implications

If the Broncos win, their pick will remain in the second spot and the Cardinals would improve to at least sixth, and as high as fourth depending on the result of Rams-Packers and Saints-Falcons.

If the Cardinals win, the Denver pick position would depend on various results. Rams-Packers, Saints-Falcons, and Bears-Eagles all would impact where the Denver pick ends up. If the Bears lost, Denver’s pick would be no higher than third and no worse than sixth. If the Bears won, the Denver pick could be anywhere from second to sixth.