The draft position for next April has been taking shape for quite some time now, but for the Lions, the number one pick has been in question. It never is a good thing to be in a spot where the number one pick is in the same sentence as your team, especially when it was the same just years ago. However, the Lions this season are 2-13 and likely will add a 14th loss before all is said and done. That already guarantees Detroit a top two pick.
The other team that is in the same boat as Detroit is Oakland. The Raiders are also 2-13 and play on the road against a very good Jets team. With Oakland likely to share a record of 2-14 with Detroit, the number one pick comes down to a tiebreaker. The tiebreaker used to determine which team goes on the clock following the final whistle of the season is strength of schedule. Whichever team has the easier schedule gets the first pick because they lost to worse teams.
Currently, Detroit has a lower strength of schedule percent, meaning that if the season were to end today, the Lions would be picking first. That could still change after this weekend of play, but it is unlikely. The margin between Detroit and Oakland isn't huge, but is big enough where the Lions have a pretty good hold on the first overall pick.
Of course, this talk of getting the first pick could be for waste if the Lions pull their usual late-season upset to screw up their draft position. We saw it last year against New Orleans when Jason Hanson hit a last-second field goal, giving the Saints the second pick, where they drafted Reggie Bush.
If Detroit does lose and comes away with the first pick, then I'll be very happy. Not only is there a countless number of options regarding what to do with the pick, but position in later rounds is improved. With the first pick of the draft, you can trade down and still get the player you want and at the same time pick up something extra. Also, if there is someone you want to draft, then no other team will stop you. As for the position in later rounds, just look at the second round. Getting the first pick then is really like a late first round pick as the talent isn't much difference.
When it comes down to it, I do hope Detroit gets to draft first. I don't ever like to see them lose, but at this point, it doesn't make a difference in a good way anymore.