NFL Draft Order if season ended today: Steelers slide back following playoff berth

Pittsburgh's draft positioning takes a big dip as they enter the NFL Playoffs.

Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

The 2023 regular season is officially in the books. Eighteen teams have been eliminated from playoff contention and will begin their offseason early, while six others will be done for the year following the results of Super Wild Card Weekend. Remarkably, the Pittsburgh Steelers were fortunate enough to make it to the NFL Playoffs.

The Steelers travel to Buffalo to face the Bills on Sunday. This was made possible thanks to the Titans' upset victory in their season finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Had Pittsburgh not gotten the outside help they needed, they would be locked into the 18th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Instead, they are very much alive. Unfortuantely, in terms of draft positioning, they just took a big step back in the pecking order this April. The goal in the NFL is obviously to find postseason success, but if they are unable to do so this Sunday, they just lost significant draft positioning with nothing to show for it. Here's the NFL Draft order if the season ended today, via

NFL Draft order if season ended before Wild Card round:

1. Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers)
2. Washington Commanders
3. New England Patriots
4. Arizona Cardinals
5. Los Angeles Chargers
6. New York Giants
7. Tennessee Titans
8. Atlanta Falcons
9. Chicago Bears
10. New York Jets
11. Minnesota Vikings
12. Denver Broncos
13. Las Vegas Raiders
14. New Orleans Saints
15. Indianapolis Colts
16. Seattle Seahawks
17. Jacksonville Jaguars
18. Cincinnati Bengals
19. Green Bay Packers
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
21. Arizona Cardinals (via Houston Texans)
22. Los Angeles Rams
23. Pittsburgh Steelers
24. Buffalo Bills
25. Philadelphia Eagles
26. Kansas City Chiefs
27. Houston Texans (via Cleveland Browns)
28. Detroit Lions
29. Miami Dolphins
30. Dallas Cowboys
31. San Francisco 49ers
32. Baltimore Ravens

The top 18 selections in the 2024 NFL Draft are now set in stone, and things couldn't have worked out better for the Chicago Bears. The pick they traded for last year in the deal they made that allowed the Panthers to move up for QB Bryce Young ended up turning into the top pick in the draft in 2024. The Bears own two top-10 selections this year.

In just one weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers have slid from the 18th overall selection to the 23rd pick in April's back. This is where Omar Khan's team would be selecting in each round this year. With a loss to the Bills this weekend, it's possible for the Steelers to crawl back up to the 19th overall pick, but that would require wins in the Wild Card round from the Packers, Buccaneers, Texans, and Rams.

The likelihood of all of these upsets occurring is slim to none. If a few of them can and the Steelers lose to the Bills, they could move up a few spots in the pecking order. Most likely, however, we are probably looking at something like the 21st to 23rd pick if Pittsburgh loses (to get the 21st would require two upsets this week).

If the Steeles win on the road in Buffalo during the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs, the best they will be able to do in the 2024 NFL Draft is the 24th overall pick. Again, the goal of the game is to win, so we can live with bad draft positioning if it means the Steelers are finding postseason success.