2024 NFL Draft order: Patriots in striking distance of the No. 1 pick heading into Week 16

2024 NFL Draft order: Patriots in striking distance of the No. 1 pick heading into Week 16

Week 15 of the NFL regular season did not see a lot of change near the top of the draft standings. However, of the 10 teams entering the week with five or fewer wins on their palmarès two managed to secure victories.

The Las Vegas Raiders blew out the Los Angeles Chargers 63-21 on Thursday night — a game prompting the Chargers to fire their head coach and general manager. As a result, they dropped from the sixth to the 12th position.

From a New England Patriots perspective, the other win was more notable. The Carolina Panthers, whose first-round pick was traded to the Chicago Bears last offseason, beat the Atlanta Falcons 9-7 to improve to 2-12 on the year. They are now only one win ahead of the 3-11 teams, the Patriots and the Arizona Cardinals.

And with New England’s strength of schedule now equal to Carolina’s 0.521 the team of head coach Bill Belichick officially is in striking distance of the top spot now.

NFL Draft order: Week 16

Pick Team Record Win % SOS
Pick Team Record Win % SOS
1 Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers) 2-12 0.143 0.521
2 New England Patriots 3-11 0.214 0.521
3 Arizona Cardinals 3-11 0.214 0.559
4 Washington Commanders 4-10 0.286 0.513
5 Chicago Bears 5-9 0.357 0.466
6 New York Giants 5-9 0.357 0.508
7 New York Jets 5-9 0.357 0.508
8 Los Angeles Chargers 5-9 0.357 0.521
9 Tennessee Titans 5-9 0.357 0.534
10 Atlanta Falcons 6-8 0.429 0.424
11 Green Bay Packers 6-8 0.429 0.471
12 Las Vegas Raiders 6-8 0.429 0.487
13 New Orleans Saints 7-7 0.500 0.429
14 Denver Broncos 7-7 0.500 0.483
15 Seattle Seahawks 7-7 0.500 0.517
16 Pittsburgh Steelers 7-7 0.500 0.538
17 Arizona Cardinals (via Houston Texans) 8-6 0.571 0.479
18 Buffalo Bills 8-6 0.571 0.483

Non-playoff teams only.


The Patriots have an eye on the No. 1 spot in the draft standings now, but their wiggle room in the other direction remains small. Not only do they have the same record as the Cardinals with a superior — at least as far as this purpose is concerned — strength of schedule, they also are only one game ahead of a 4-10 Washington Commanders team with a worse SOS number.

Even the five 5-9 teams are not too far off, with three of them having a worse SOS as well. Every win, either from the Patriots or the other teams near the top of the table, therefore has the potential to shake things up once again.

With that said, here is a reminder of the remaining schedules for the current top-4:

Remaining schedule: Weeks 16-18

Week Panthers Patriots Cardinals Commanders
Week Panthers Patriots Cardinals Commanders
16 vs. Packers at Broncos at Bears at Jets
17 at Jaguars at Bills at Eagles vs. 49ers
18 vs. Buccaneers vs. Jets vs. Seahawks vs. Cowboys

On paper, there is plenty of losing potential for all four teams. Of course, the Patriots and Commanders will also go up against a New York Jets squad that has shown little signs of life itself recently.

Every outcome is still on the table.

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