DETROIT – The Lions will have one of the first seven picks in the NFL draft if they lose next Sunday. And as anyone who witnessed the past Saturday can attest, this appears to be a very good possibility.
The Lions were blown by a 40-point lead against the Tampa Bay Pirates, Painful and exhaustive bloodletting That raised them four more points in the NFL Draft Ranking. They are now slotted into the 7th overall pick, and they can still climb to # 3.
Jacksonville Jaguars snatched their first overall selection and it looks like precious midfielder Trevor Lawrence will be relegated. The New York Jets took the second overall pick, despite their back-to-back wins in the past two weeks, to coincide with the longest winning streak of the entire Matt Patricia era in Detroit. (Yes really.)
But the Lions could still catch up with any of the next four teams. The Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans (chosen by the Miami Dolphins), the Cincinnati Bengals and the Philadelphia Eagles each won four victories. They also have a better opponent win rate, which means Detroit has a tiebreaker between them all. The Lions would climb elsewhere if they lost a win over Atlanta, Houston, Cincinnati or Philly.
Winning from all four teams appears to be particularly unlikely, but that will be Detroit’s road to the third overall pick.
The last player to score seventh overall was a major goal for the Lions of Lions, a defensive intervention from Auburn Derek Brown. The two men before that were Josh Allen, which is definitely not baffling or anything. But that Allen’s choice seems to work well for the Bills, now that he has evolved into one of the best midfielders in the game and just led the Bills to the AFC East Championship.
Last time Detroit won the Class Championship: 1993, the longest drought in the league so far.
Detroit may look for its future midfielder in the draft. Allen’s pick was a good choice, but success in midfielders in that spot had failed afterwards: Byron Leftwich (2003), Andre Ware (1990), Wayne Peace (1984), Todd Blackledge (1983), Phil Sims (1979) and Bill Monson (1964).
NFL Project Order (with schedule opponent force):
* 1. Jaguars 1-14
* 2. Aircraft 2-13
3. Dolphins (Trans Texas) 4–11 (542.)
4. Falcons 4-11 (.550)
5. Bengals 4-10-1 (.527)
6. Eagles 4-10-1 (.531)
7. Lions 5-10 (.504)
8. Giants 5-10 (.506)
9. Panthers 5-10 (. 529)
10. Bronco 5-10 (. 567)
11. Cowboys 6-9 (. 465)
12. Chargers 6-9 (.490)
13. Vikings 6-9 (.508)
14.49ers 6-9 (. 544)
15. Patriots 6-8 (. 529)
* – Confinement in selection