There’s only a couple more weeks of jockeying left and the Packers managed to creep up another spot in the draft order with their disgusting loss to the Bears. As things stand, they will be picking at number 11, but there’s still a lot that can happen.
The Cardinals and Raiders, to the surprise of no one, both lost again, taking the Packers out of the running for a top 2 pick and places them mathematically in position to end up any where from 3 to 17.
Where exactly depends on a lof of game outcomes, starting with the Packers’s own results against the Jets and Lions.
If The Packers Lose Out…
They could still jump up to the third spot (where Nick Bosa’s big brother Joey was taken a few years back), but it would require, among other things, the Jets, 49ers, and Jaguars to each win their last two games.
None of that seems likely – even if the Packers drop to the Jets, the Jets play the Patriots the following week and that probably won’t net them a win.
That gives the Packers a more realistic cieling of the 6 pick. A 5-10-1 Packers should be no lower than the 9 spot, since the Falcons and Buccaneers play each other in week 17 and, barring a tie, one of them would finish with a better record than 5-10-1.
The Falcons also travel to the Panthers and the Buccaneers travel to the Cowboys. If they both win, the Packers could move up a couple spots (if they lose out) regardless of what happens in the Bucs-Falcons week 17 matchup.
The other teams directly above the Packers (and their remaining games) are:
Giants (@Colts, Cowboys)
Bills (@Patriots, Dolphins)
I’m not banking on the Giants or Bills winning either game, but division games can be crazy, so anything could happen.
So if the Packers lose out and the Falcons, Panthers, Giants and Bills all win one of their two remaining games, Green Bay would pick 6th. Throw in a week 17 Jets upset of the Patriots, and the Packers move up to 5 (AJ Hawk territory, baby!).
Realistically, if the Packers lose out, they should be looking at a top 8 pick.
And If They Win…
If they win out, they come up on a cluster teams at 6-8 or 7-7 that could pass them up if they manage to lose. That cluster extends through pick 18, since 13 teams already have at least 8 wins and the Vikings, with 7, have the tie-breaker over the Packers.
Luckily, the Redskins and Eagles, two of those teams, play each other and, regardless of outcome – even a tie – (thanks to the Packers’s loss in Washington earlier in the year), they can’t both pass the Packers.
That means Green Bay will pick, at worst 17th in the 2019 draft.
What Does That Mean?
To put that in perspective, last year, the 17th pick had the choice between Derwin James and Jaire Alexander (who went 17th and 18th). In 2017, guys like Jabril Peppers (25) and TJ Watt (ahem, 30) were both availabe at 17, and in 2016, Pro Bowl safety Keanu Neal (17) and Kenny Clark (27) were on the board. In 2015, Pro Bowl cornerbacks Marcus Peters (18) and Byron Jones (27) were avialble.
Long story short: The Packers will be in position to get a defensive stud, even if they win out. We don’t need them to tank, we just need to draft well.
If all you care about is the Packers draft position, you obviously want the Jets to win this week.
Other than that, the following outcomes would favor the Packers:
- Lions over Vikings (which I think we want to see anyways)
- Buccaneers over Cowboys (which we also would find funny)
- Giants over Colts
- Bills over Patriots
- Broncos over Raiders
- Dolphins over Jaguars
- Redskins over Titans
- Eagles over Texans
A couple games where we’d like to see both teams lose are:
Panthers (6-8) – Falcons (5-9): I’ll pull for the Falcons becuase I don’t expect us to catch them and I want to make sure we stay ahead of the Panthers. If you expect (or want) the Packers to tank their last two games, root Falcons.
Browns (6-7-1) – Bengals (6-8): Next week the Browns play the Ravens and the Bengals play the Steelers. You should root for whoever you think is more likely to lose next week.
There’s still a pretty big spread right now, but that could narrow down a lot by next week.
But What About The Other Pick!?
Oh yeah, we have another first-rounder. The Saints have the best record in football, so just root for them to lose every week.
If the Saints lose their last two, the Bears win out, and the Rams can beat either the Cardinals or 49ers, the Saints could drop out of a bye. If that happens and they lose in the wild card round, they would probably pick 24 (but could drop as low as 23 if the Chiefs and Chargers both win out – putting the Chiefs in a wild card with a better record than the Saints – AND the Chiefs somehow manage to also lose in the wild card round).
Barring that incredible turn of events, we just have to hope that a well-rested Saints team lays an egg after the bye (while hosting someone like Seattle – wouldn’t that be interesting) and picks 28th.
They could end up anywhere from 23 to 32, but I wouldn’t bank on getting any lower than 30.
Time will tell.
Tune in next week to see where we’re at.