This is a look at the first-round order for the 2022 NFL Draft heading into Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season, along with the top three needs for each team. The order is determined by record, using strength of schedule as the first tiebreaker (click here to see a full list of the draft-order tiebreakers). Keep in mind — teams 19-32 would make the playoffs if the season ended today and are marked as PL (short for playoffs) in the order below. The draft order for playoff teams is determined by the results of postseason play.
NOTE: Arrows reflect movement from last week’s order.
Biggest needs: QB, CB, WR
Week 12 opponent: vs. Bears
DP: With the Texans’ upset win on Sunday, every team but the Lions has at least two victories this season. Detroit hasn’t made the first selection in a draft since it landed Matthew Stafford in 2009. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear there will be a QB prospect of Stafford’s caliber available next year.
Biggest needs: WR, CB, OL
Week 12 opponent: vs. Falcons
CG: After performances like the Jaguars turned in Sunday against the 49ers, it’s easier to point out where Jacksonville doesn’t have draft needs. Offensively, quarterback and running back top that list. Defensively, Josh Allen is a cornerstone of an edge defender. Beyond that, everything is on the table.
Biggest needs: WR, S, OL
Week 12 opponent: at Texans
CG: It’s still unclear when OT Mekhi Becton will return from a Week 1 knee injury, but when he does, his effectiveness will be a close watch for Jets brass. Offensive line will be a need area regardless, but Becton’s play will present a clearer picture of degree.
Biggest needs: QB, OL, WR
Week 12 opponent: vs. Jets
CG: Whether to re-sign Tyrod Taylor or draft a face-of-franchise quarterback shouldn’t be considered mutually exclusive choices for the Texans. Given the scope of the rebuild necessary, there’s a good argument for doing both.
Biggest needs: OL, Edge, TE
Week 12 opponent: vs. Eagles
DP: Tight end gets a turn in the third slot on the needs list this week with Evan Engram ticketed for free agency this offseason and Kyle Rudolph’s contract expiring after next season.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE CHICAGO BEARS
Bears’ record: 3-7 (.559)
Bears’ Week 12 opponent: at Lions
See Pick No. 5 for analysis of the Giants’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Bears’ needs.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Seahawks’ record: 3-7 (.582)
Seahawks’ Week 12 opponent: at Washington
See Pick No. 3 for analysis of the Jets’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Seahawks’ needs.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE MIAMI DOLPHINS
Dolphins’ record: 4-7 (.482)
Dolphins’ Week 12 opponent: vs. Panthers
See Pick No. 12 for analysis of the Eagles’ needs and Pick No. 14 for analysis of the Dolphins’ needs.
Biggest needs: Edge, OL, QB
Week 12 opponent: at Jaguars
DP: Coming off being shut out at home for the first time in over 30 years and a two-game span in which they were outscored 68-3, the Falcons’ offense is battered and broken. Atlanta can’t go into next season with no long-term plan behind Matt Ryan again.
Biggest needs: QB, OL, WR
Week 12 opponent: vs. Seahawks
DP: Wide receiver replaces defensive back in the third spot on the needs list this week with no clear No. 2 emerging opposite Terry McLaurin. Curtis Samuel was signed to be that guy, but he hasn’t been healthy this season. Meanwhile, DeAndre Carter, Adam Humphries and Cam Sims are pending free agents.
Biggest needs: QB, OL, CB
Week 12 opponent: at Dolphins
DP: Cam Newton is playing well two games into his second act with the Panthers, but he’s only signed for this season. Long-term, there’s still no clear answer under center in Carolina after Sam Darnold’s rough stint as QB1.
Biggest needs: S, Edge, LB
Week 12 opponent: at Giants
DP: Now that the Eagles have locked up CB Avonte Maddox with a three-year extension, I’m tweaking the top need on the list from defensive back to safety. Starters Anthony Harris and Rodney McLeod are due to reach free agency in 2022.
Biggest needs: QB, LB, Edge
Week 12 opponent: vs. Chargers
CG: After inking wide receivers Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick to contract extensions in the past few days, and with Jerry Jeudy just midway through his rookie deal, Denver has vanquished any short-term concerns at the position.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
49ers’ record: 5-5 (.500)
49ers’ Week 12 opponent: vs. Vikings
Dolphins’ biggest needs: OL, RB, Edge
CG: The Dolphins blitz an NFL-high 40.5 percent of the time, yet generate no better than average heat on opposing quarterbacks. Their best edge defender, Emmanuel Ogbah, is a pending free agent. Miami’s biggest needs remain on offense, but a pass rusher could be a high priority.
NOTE: See the bottom of this article for analysis of the 49ers’ needs.
Biggest needs: DT, OL, LB
Week 12 opponent: at Cowboys
CG: The Raiders’ offensive line, retooled in the offseason, will need more of it. It’s been miserably bad when it comes to run blocking. While rookie Alex Leatherwood has maintained starter status in switching from right tackle to guard, that move merely renews a right tackle need for 2022.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (Contingent on Carson Wentz playing 75% of team’s snaps; Wentz has played 98% of snaps entering Week 12)
Colts’ record: 6-5 (.478)
Colts’ Week 12 opponent: vs. Buccaneers
See Pick No. 12 for analysis of the Eagles’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Colts’ needs.
Biggest needs: DT, Edge, WR
Week 12 opponent: at Ravens
CG: After a 3-1 start to the season, the Browns have fallen back to a pack of 10 NFL clubs that are either at or within one game of the .500 mark. That makes for a deep middle class when it comes to draft order, and right now, the Browns’ draft position can swing quite a bit from week to week.
Biggest needs: QB, OT, CB
Week 12 opponent: at Bengals
CG: Other than running back, one could point to almost any offensive position as an area the Steelers need to improve in the draft. However, WR Diontae Johnson is on his way to the most productive season of his career and is under contract through 2022. The possibility of losing JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency isn’t looking like the concern it once did.
Biggest needs: OT, QB, WR
Week 12 opponent: vs. Bills
DP: There’s a lot to sort out this offseason for the Saints, the losers of three straight. Their left tackle, QB1 and top safety are headed for free agency, and their No. 1 wide receiver will have played five games over the past two seasons.
Biggest needs: CB, Edge, TE
Week 12 opponent: at 49ers
DP: Aaron Rodgers was battling through a painful toe injury on Sunday, but he still managed to exploit the holes in the Vikings’ pass defense. The Packers QB racked up 385 yards and four TD passes, albeit in a losing effort.
Biggest needs: DL, OL, WR
Week 12 opponent: at Saints
CG: The previously listed interior offensive line need expands to the full OL this week. The Bills’ play at offensive tackle hasn’t exactly been stellar either, and the club has a $258 million quarterback to protect.
Biggest needs: DB, OL, DT
Week 12 opponent: vs. Steelers
CG: Line-of-scrimmage play is a constant emphasis with the division-rival Steelers and Ravens, and the Browns have some of the most talented linemen in the game. With needs along both lines of scrimmage, the Bengals can’t afford to be the kid brother the AFC North can push around.
Biggest needs: DT, WR, Edge
Week 12 opponent: at Broncos
CG: Joey Bosa’s elite pass rush skills are locked up long-term, but he might need a bookend on the opposite side when the draft arrives if the team doesn’t re-sign Kyler Fackrell or Uchenna Nwosu. In a pass-first league, depth at edge rusher is of high importance.
Biggest needs: DB, LB, OT
Week 12 opponent: vs. Titans
CG: The Patriots’ best linebacker under contract for 2022 is Kyle Van Noy, who is having a strong year on a very solid defensive team. Beyond Van Noy, however, the Patriots have a cast of players to either re-sign or say goodbye to at the position.
Biggest needs: DB, OT, Edge
Week 12 opponent: Bye
CG: Along with starting left tackle Orlando Brown entering free agency, much of the Chiefs’ depth along the offensive line could be lost in the offseason as well. It’s a young line in Kansas City, but it might have to get even younger.
PICK ACQUIRED FROM THE LOS ANGELES RAMS
Rams’ record: 7-3 (.451)
Rams’ Week 12 opponent: at Packers
See Pick No. 1 for analysis of the Lions’ needs and the bottom of this article for analysis of the Rams’ needs.
Biggest needs: DT, OL, Edge
Week 12 opponent: vs. Browns
CG: The running back position is off the primary needs list for now, as we’ll presume a healthy 2022 return to the lineup for J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards. However, with the club populating the backfield with aging veterans on one-year deals to replace the injured RBs, it could make sense to add more depth at the position via the draft.
Biggest needs: OL, CB, RB
Week 12 opponent: at Colts
DP: The only Bucs running back under contract beyond 2021 is 2020 third-round pick Ke’Shawn Vaughn, who doesn’t see meaningful snaps on offense.
Biggest needs: S, DL, G
Week 12 opponent: vs. Raiders
DP: The Cowboys just benched left guard Connor Williams, their second-round pick in 2018, in favor of 2019 third-rounder Connor McGovern, which seems like a pretty clear indication of their plans for Williams. He’s in the final year of his rookie deal.
Biggest needs: WR, Edge, TE
Week 12 opponent: vs. Rams
DP: Tight end could be a need whether pending free agent Robert Tonyan is re-signed or not since he’ll be coming off an ACL tear suffered in late October.
Biggest needs: LB, TE, OL
Week 12 opponent: at Patriots
CG: There are potential free-agency holes at center and right tackle, but regardless of those outcomes, pass-protection skills should weigh heavily in draft evaluations. The Titans’ offensive line has been much more effective in run blocking than pass blocking, and the gap has been exposed more since Derrick Henry’s injury.
Biggest needs: Edge, CB, DL
Week 12 opponent: Bye
DP: Arizona could be in the market for depth on the interior of the D-line with 11th-year veteran Corey Peters in the final year of his deal and future Hall of Famer J.J. Watt missing at least half the games in four of the past six seasons.
TEAMS CURRENTLY WITHOUT A FIRST-ROUND PICK
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE NEW YORK GIANTS
Biggest needs: OL, WR, CB
Week 12 opponent: at Lions
DP: This offseason has to be all about surrounding Justin Fields with a better supporting cast than the Bears gave him this year. That means there’s a ton of work to do for a team with question marks at wide receiver, left tackle and center, among other spots.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (Contingent on Carson Wentz playing 75% of team’s snaps; Wentz has played 98% of snaps entering Week 12)
Biggest needs: OT, WR, TE
Week 12 opponent: vs. Buccaneers
CG: Giving QB Carson Wentz a dynamic young wide receiver to play opposite of Michael Pittman could take this offense to a different level. T.Y. Hilton and Zach Pascal could be gone after the season, and the injury-prone Parris Campbell has had to miss more games than he’s played since entering the league in 2019.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE DETROIT LIONS
Biggest needs: OL, CB, LB
Week 12 opponent: at Packers
DP: While the interior offensive line could be the more pressing need this offseason, the Rams can’t afford to take their eye off the future at left tackle. Andrew Whitworth continues to play at a high level, but he’ll turn 40 in a few weeks and his contract expires after next season.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE MIAMI DOLPHINS
Biggest needs: CB, WR, Edge
Week 12 opponent: vs. Vikings
DP: Dee Ford is paid to be a star complement to Nick Bosa. However, a neck/back injury has kept him from performing to that standard over the past season and a half. Arden Key has made some plays in Ford’s absence over the past few weeks, but Key’s contract expires in March.
TRADED FIRST-ROUND PICK TO THE NEW YORK JETS
Biggest needs: DB, OL, TE
Week 12 opponent: at Washington
DP: What makes the Seahawks’ disappointing season and lack of a first-round pick next year sting even more is the fact that Jamal Adams certainly isn’t performing like a player who was worth two Round 1 selections.
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