The Detroit Lions have now lost eight of their last nine games, including five in a row. It should come as no surprise, then, that this team is barreling towards another top 10 pick. Nothing is for certain, as there is still a quarter of the season left to be played, but if things hold as they currently stand, Detroit would have top 10 picks in back-to-back years for the first time since the 2013-2014 seasons.
As of right now, the Lions hold the sixth overall pick with their 3-8-1 record. However, after Week 13 wins from Washington, Miami, Denver, and Cincinnati, they are now closer to a top-five pick than ever before. In fact, they are just a half-game out of the third overall pick. Here’s a look at the top 11 in draft order.
Note: Tiebreakers are based on strength of schedule. Tiebreaker goes to the team with the easier schedule. Win percentage of opponent is based on Tankathon.com’s method: Using the full 16-game schedule, not just games played.
- Bengals: 1-11
- Giants: 2-10
- Washington: 3-9
- Dolphins: 3-9
- Falcons: 3-9
- Lions: 3-8-1
- Cardinals: 3-8-1
- Jaguars: 4-8
- Jets: 4-8
- Chargers: 4-8
- Denver: 4-8
The Lions could easily break into the top five as early as next week for a couple of reasons.
First, consider the trajectory of each team right now. Washington has suddenly won two games in a row. Miami has won three of their last five games. Even the Falcons have won two of their last four. Meanwhile, the Lions have won just a single game in two months.
Also, look at the schedules for these teams. The Dolphins still have remaining games against the Jets, Giants and Bengals. Washington still has a game against a bad Giants team and the flailing Eagles and Cowboys. The Falcons still have to face the Panthers, Jaguars and Bucs. By record, the Lions have the second-toughest strength of schedule remaining of the three-win teams, behind only the Cardinals.
Of course, we would all rather see the Lions competing for a first-round bye at this point in the season. Unfortunately that isn’t the case, but for those looking for a sign of optimism, there is an increasing chance this team will be lined up for a high-impact player come April’s draft.