NFL 2020: Draft, Important Dates, Draft Order

NFL 2020: Draft, Important Dates, Draft Order

The 2020 National Football League (NFL) season will be the 101st season of the National Football League (NFL). The season will begin on September 10, 2020, with the NFL Kickoff Game, expected to be hosted by the defending Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs. The season will conclude with Super Bowl LV, the league’s championship game on February 7, 2021, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league featuring 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The National Football (NFL) is one of the most-watched professional football sports leagues in North America. The NFL’s 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week. Six teams from each conference (four division winners and two wild card teams) advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament culminating in the Super Bowl, which is played between the champions of the NFC and AFC.

Regular season

  • September 10, 2020 – January 3, 2021


  • Start date: January 9, 2021

Super Bowl LV

  • February 7, 2021

Pro Bowl

  • January 31, 2021


The 2020 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 23–25, 2020 in Paradise, Nevada, coinciding with the Oakland Raiders relocation to Las Vegas. The 2020 NFL draft begins with Round 1 on April 23 from Las Vegas and continues with Rounds 2 and 3 on April 24 and Rounds 4 to 7 on April 25. The draft will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN, the ESPN app and NFL Network.

  • Non-playoff teams get picks 1-20 — the team with the worst record picks first overall
  • Teams eliminated in the Wild Card round get picks 21-24
  • Teams eliminated in the Divisional round get picks 25-28
  • Teams eliminated in the Conference Championships get picks 29-30
  • Super Bowl loser gets pick 31
  • Super Bowl winner gets pick 32
  • Tiebreakers: strength of schedule, division tiebreakers, conference tiebreakers, interconference tiebreakers, coin toss
  • This order applies to all seven rounds of the draft with tied teams cycling positions from round to round
  • Weeks before the draft, up to a total of 32 compensatory picks are awarded to teams that lost significant free agents — these picks are made after rounds 3-7

Round 1

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

Round 2

33. Cincinnati
34. Indianapolis (from Washington)
35. Detroit
36. N.Y. Giants
37. L.A. Chargers
38. Carolina
39. Miami
40. Arizona
41. Cleveland
42. Jacksonville
43. Chicago (from Las Vegas)
44. Indianapolis
45. Tampa Bay
46. Denver
47. Atlanta
48. N.Y. Jets
49. Pittsburgh
50. Chicago
51. Dallas
52. L.A. Rams
53. Philadelphia
54. Buffalo
55. Atlanta (from New England)
56. Miami (from New Orleans)
57. Houston
58. Minnesota
59. Seattle
60. Baltimore
61. Tennessee
62. Green Bay
63. Kansas City (from San Francisco)
64. Seattle (from Kansas City)

Round 3

65. Cincinnati
66. Washington
67. Detroit
68. N.Y. Jets (from N.Y. Giants)
69. Carolina
70. Miami
71. L.A. Chargers
72. Arizona
73. Jacksonville
74. Cleveland
75. Indianapolis
76. Tampa Bay
77. Denver
78. Atlanta
79. N.Y. Jets
80. Las Vegas
81. Las Vegas (from Chicago)
82. Dallas
83. Denver (from Pittsburgh)
84. L.A. Rams
85. Philadelphia
86. Buffalo
87. New England
88. New Orleans
89. Minnesota
90. Houston
91. Las Vegas (from Seattle)
92. Baltimore
93. Tennessee
94. Green Bay
95. Denver (from San Francisco)
96. Kansas City
97. Cleveland (from Houston)*
98. New England*
99. N.Y. Giants*
100. New England*
101. Seattle*
102. Pittsburgh*
103. Philadelphia*
104. L.A. Rams*
105. Minnesota*
106. Baltimore*

Round 4

107. Cincinnati
108. Washington
109. Detroit
110. N.Y. Giants
111. Houston (from Miami)
112. L.A. Chargers
113. Carolina
114. Arizona
115. Cleveland
116. Jacksonville
117. Tampa Bay
118. Denver
119. Atlanta
120. N.Y. Jets
121. Las Vegas
122. Indianapolis
123. Dallas
124. Pittsburgh
125. New England (from Chicago)
126. L.A. Rams
127. Philadelphia
128. Buffalo
129. Baltimore (from New England)
130. New Orleans
131. Houston
132. Minnesota
133. Seattle
134. Baltimore
135. Pittsburgh (from Tennessee through Miami)
136. Green Bay
137. Denver (from San Francisco)
138. Kansas City
139. Tampa Bay*
140. Chicago*
141. Miami*
142. Washington*
143. Baltimore*
144. Seattle*
145. Philadelphia*
146. Philadelphia*

Round 5

147. Cincinnati
148. Washington
149. Detroit
150. N.Y. Giants
151. L.A. Chargers
152. Carolina
153. Miami
154. Miami (from Jacksonville through Pittsburgh)
155. Buffalo (from Cleveland)
156. San Francisco (from Denver)
157. Atlanta
158. N.Y. Jets
159. Las Vegas
160. Indianapolis
161. Tampa Bay
162. Seattle (from Pittsburgh)
163. Chicago
164. Dallas
165. Jacksonville (from L.A. Rams)
166. Philadelphia
167. Buffalo
168. Philadelphia (from New England)
169. New Orleans
170. Baltimore (from Minnesota)
171. Houston
172. Detroit (from Seattle)
173. Miami (from Baltimore through L.A. Rams)
174. Tennessee
175. Green Bay
176. San Francisco
177. Kansas City
178. Denver*
179. Dallas*

Round 6

180. Cincinnati
181. Denver (from Washington)
182. Detroit
183. N.Y. Giants
184. Carolina
185. Miami
186. L.A Chargers
187. Cleveland (from Arizona)
188. Buffalo (from Cleveland)
189. Jacksonville
190. Philadelphia (from Atlanta)
191. N.Y. Jets
192. Green Bay (from Las Vegas)
193. Indianapolis
194. Tampa Bay
195. New England (from Denver)
196. Chicago
197. Indianapolis (from Dallas through Miami)
198. Pittsburgh
199. L.A. Rams
200. Chicago (from Philadelphia)
201. Buffalo
202. Arizona (from New England)
203. New Orleans
204. New England (from Houston)
205. Minnesota
206. Jacksonville (from Seattle)
207. Buffalo (from Baltimore through New England)
208. Green Bay (from Tennessee)
209. Green Bay
210. San Francisco
211. N.Y. Jets (from Kansas City)
212. New England*
213. New England*
214. Seattle*

Round 7

215. Cincinnati
216. Washington
217. San Francisco (from Detroit)
218. N.Y. Giants
219. Minnesota (from Miami)
220. L.A. Chargers
221. Carolina
222. Arizona
223. Jacksonville
224. Tennessee (from Cleveland)
225. Baltimore (from N.Y. Jets)
226. Chicago (from Las Vegas)
227. Miami (from Indianapolis)
228. Atlanta (from Tampa Bay through Philadelphia)
229. Washington (from Denver)
230. New England (from Atlanta)
231. Dallas
232. Pittsburgh
233. Chicago
234. L.A. Rams
235. New England (from Philadelphia)
236. Green Bay (from Buffalo through Cleveland)
237. Denver (from New England)
238. N.Y. Giants (from New Orleans)
239. Minnesota
240. Houston
241. New England (from Seattle)
242. Green Bay from Baltimore
243. Tennessee
244. Cleveland (from Green Bay)
245. San Francisco
246. Miami (from Kansas City)
247. N.Y. Giants*
248. Houston*
249. Minnesota*
250. Houston*
251. Miami*
252. Denver*
253. Minnesota*
254. Denver*
255. N.Y. Giants*


Under the NFL’s current scheduling formula, each team plays the other three teams in its division twice. Also, a team plays against all four teams in one other division from each conference. The final two games on a team’s schedule are against the two remaining teams in the same conference that finished in the same position in their respective divisions the previous season (e.g., the team that finished fourth in its division will play all three other teams in the conference that also finished fourth). The division pairings for 2020 will be as follows:


  • AFC East vs AFC West
  • AFC North vs AFC South
  • NFC East vs NFC West
  • NFC North vs NFC South


  • AFC East vs NFC West
  • AFC North vs NFC East
  • AFC South vs NFC North
  • AFC West vs NFC South

NFL 2020 Important Dates

March 10

  • Before 4:00 p.m., New York time, the deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.

March 16-18

  • Clubs are permitted to contact and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2019 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 18.

March 18

  • Before 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must exercise options for 2020 on all players who have option clauses in their 2019 contracts.
  • Before 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents with expiring contracts to retain a Right of First Refusal/Compensation.
  • Before 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2019 contracts who have fewer than three accrued seasons of free agency credit.
  • Top 51 Rule begins. All clubs must be under the 2020 Salary Cap before 4:00 p.m., New York time.
  • All 2019 player contracts will expire at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
  • The 2020 league year and free agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
  • The first day of the 2020 league year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 18. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the league office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 18.
  • The trading period for 2020 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after the expiration of all 2019 contracts.

March 29-April 1

  • Annual League Meeting, Palm Beach, Florida.

April 6

  • Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2019 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.

April 17

  • Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets

April 20

  • Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.

April 23-25

  • NFL Draft, Las Vegas, Nevada.

April 27

  • Beginning this date, NFL clubs may request permission to visit with, try out, or sign any player who was under contract to the XFL after the XFL season.

May 1-4

  • Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.

May 5

  • Deadline for prior club to send “May 5 Tender” to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a player contract with a club by July 22 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate or sign a player contract from that date until the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, at 4:00 p.m., New York time, only with his prior club.

May 8-11

  • Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.

May 11

  • Rookie Football Development Programs begin.

May 14-17

  • NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Invited rookies (typically, first- and/or second-round selections) must be permitted by their respective clubs to attend. Such players are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.

May 19-20

  • Spring League Meeting, Marina Del Ray, California.


June 1

  • Deadline for prior club to send “June 1 Tender” to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents who received a qualifying offer for a right of first refusal only for such player to be subject to the CBA’s “June 15 Tender” provision.

June 15

  • Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting “June 15 Tender” of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player’s prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms of his prior-year contract carried forward unchanged).

Late June

  • Rookie Transition Program to be held at individual clubs.


July 15

  • At 4:00 p.m., New York time, the deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2020 season, and such contract cannot be extended until after the club’s last regular-season game.


  • Clubs are permitted to open preseason training camp for rookies beginning seven days before the club’s earliest permissible mandatory reporting date for veteran players.
  • Veteran players (defined as a player with at least one pension-credited season) other than quarterbacks or “injured players” (as defined in CBA Article 21, Section 6) may report to a club’s preseason training camp no earlier than 15 days before the club’s first scheduled preseason game or July 15, whichever is later.
  • Veteran quarterbacks and injured players may be required to report to the club’s preseason training camp no earlier than five days immediately before the mandatory reporting date for all other veteran players, provided the club has already opened (or simultaneously opens) its official preseason training camp for all rookies and first-year players
  • A three-day acclimation period will apply to players who are on a club’s roster up to and including the mandatory veteran reporting date. Players who rejoin the roster after that date may practice (including wearing pads) and play immediately after passing a physical.

July 22*

  • The signing period ends for Unrestricted Free Agents to whom a “May 5 Tender” was made by prior club. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.
  • * or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later.

July 22

  • The signing period ends for Transition Players with outstanding tenders. After this date and until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Tuesday following the 10th weekend of the regular season, prior club has exclusive negotiating rights.

August 6

  • Hall of Fame Game, Canton, Ohio.

August 6-9

  • Hall of Fame Weekend, Canton, Ohio.

August 11

  • Deadline for players under contract to report to their clubs to earn an accrued season for free agency.
  • If a drafted rookie has not signed with his club by this date, he cannot be traded to any other club in 2020 and may sign a player contract only with the drafting club until the day of the Draft in the 2021 league year.

September 5

  • Before 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.
  • Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/NonFootball Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate the contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.

September 6

  • Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at noon, New York time.
  • Upon receipt of the Personnel Notice at approximately 1:00 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a practice squad of 10 players (clubs participating in the International Player Development Program may sign one additional international player to a Practice Player Contract.) No club, including the player’s prior club, will be permitted to sign a player to a practice player contract until all clubs have received simultaneous notification via the above Personnel Notice that such player’s prior NFL player contract has been terminated via the waiver system.

September 10

  • At midnight, New York time, the Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL clubs.

September 10, 13-14

  • Regular Season Week One.
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