If you’re the kind of Detroit Lions fan that roots for tanking at this point in the season, Week 13 was for you. Not only did the Lions lose—their fifth loss in six games—but Sunday was filled with upsets, giving “meaningless” wins to a bunch of teams with no chance of making the postseason.
Last week, the Lions were slotted for the eighth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. After a week of crazy upsets, Detroit has moved into the top five. According to Tankathon, the Lions have the fifth overall pick in the draft. Here’s a look at the top 10.
- 49ers: 2-10 (.526 strength of schedule)
- Raiders: 2-10 (.568)
- Jets: 3-9 (.503)
- Cardinals: 3-9 (.524)
- Lions: 4-8 (.500)
- Falcons: 4-8 (.503)
- Giants: 4-8 (.511)
- Bills: 4-8 (.521)
- Jaguars: 4-8 (.545)
- Packers: 4-7-1 (.482)
As you can see, there’s currently a very fine line between the fifth pick and the 10th pick. Things will likely be shaken up quite a bit in the final four weeks of the season, and that is especially true of the Lions. Three of their final four games are against top 10 teams: the Cardinals (3-9), Bills (4-8) and Packers (4-7-1). Those contests are going to be huge for draft position and could end up being the difference between a top-five pick and a pick in the 10-15 range.
The Lions haven’t had a top five pick since 2013, when they took Ezekiel Ansah with the fifth overall selection. However, this franchise is no stranger to picks at the top of the draft. Just look at the picks this team has made since 2000:
2013: Ansah—fifth overall
2010: Ndamukong Suh—second overall
2009: Matthew Stafford—first overall
2007: Calvin Johnson—second overall
2003: Charles Rogers—second overall
2002: Joey Harrington—third overall
In their past four top-five choices, the Lions have managed to pluck a Pro Bowl player each time. Prior to that, however, the Lions have busted with a top-five choice.
It’s a nice reminder that while a top pick is likely to net you a very good player, there are no guarantees in the NFL Draft.