As of right now, the Detroit Lions are holding the fifth spot in the 2020 NFL Draft order with just three weeks of games remaining in the 2019 season. Losers of six straight and nine out of their last 10, the Lions are certainly trending downward and are still realistically in play for as high as a top-two pick in the draft.
But how likely are they to hold onto their current top-five status? A couple of analytic sites do weekly simulations to see what the most likely landing spot for top five picks.
Let’s start with ESPN. According to their projections, which are based on their own Football Power Index (FPI) model, the Lions’ average draft position after 10,000 simulations is 5.8. They give Detroit a 50.9 percent chance of a top-five pick, and a 95.4 percent chance of a top-10 pick.
Interestingly enough, the Arizona Cardinals, who currently share the Lions’ 3-9-1 record, have an average draft position of 5.4, but only have a 34.3 percent chance at a top-five pick.
Football Outsiders has a similar model but based on their own DVOA projections. According to their site, the Lions have a 49.6 percent chance at a top-five pick. And in case you were drinking the Honolulu Blue Kool Aid: Tank Flavor, they also provided their chance at the No. 1 overall pick: 0.1 percent. The only way that happens is if the Lions lose out and the Bengals win out (plus more help). Cincinnati still has the Patriots, Dolphins and Browns on their schedule.
Of course, if the Lions lose out on their own, they are guaranteed to at least have the No. 4 pick in the draft. The team to watch is the New York Giants (2-11). They currently have both Washington (3-10) and Miami (3-10) on their schedule. How those games play out will have a big impact on draft order.