CARDINALS CORNER

Patriots’ win moves Cardinals into No. 2 pick in 2024 NFL Draft with 2 games left

Dec 26, 2023, 3:30 PM | Updated: Dec 27, 2023, 12:18 pm

Monti Ossenfort at training camp...

Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort chats during training camp on Friday, July 28, 2023, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona Cardinals were on the losing end of their Week 16 matchup against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, but the weekend wasn’t a complete failure for the organization.

After being cemented in at No. 3 the last several weeks, the Cardinals now sit second overall in the 2024 NFL Draft order entering Week 17.

A look at how the move up happened and the road ahead — with an assist from Tankathon — when it comes to Arizona’s prospects of landing within the top 3:

The Patriot Way down the draft order

This week’s positive movement up the draft board is brought you by Bill Belichick and the folks over at the New England Patriots’ compound.

Just in time for the holiday season, New England stunned a lot of people with a 26-23 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night Football.

The Patriots moved to 4-11 but saw their first-round pick drop two spots below the 3-12 Cardinals and 4-11 Washington Commanders.

One way or another, a Cardinals’ first-round pick was going to be impacted by the SNF outcome last week.

A Broncos’ win would have meant the Houston Texans’ first-round pick — owned by the Cardinals — moved into the top 15. That did not happen, with Houston (8-7) sitting 16th on the draft board following its loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Commanders creeping up draft board

Remember last week when I said to keep an eye on the Commanders?

I’m saying it again.

With the Patriots’ win, the Commanders have entered the top-3 chat and it doesn’t look like they are leaving any time soon with games against the San Francisco 49ers (11-4) and Dallas Cowboys (10-5).

And thanks to their weaker strength of schedule (.518) compared to the Cardinals (.561) and the Carolina Panthers (.522) at No. 1, Washington has the potential to jump into the top two spot before the draft order is cemented following Week 18, depending on what Arizona and Carolina do the rest of the way.

The Cardinals’ final stretch is tough with Philadelphia Eagles (11-4) next, and Arizona has a season-finale date with the Seattle Seahawks (8-7) that could make for an interesting finish.

Carolina on the other hand has the Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7) left on the docket.

The Panthers shouldn’t add another win to their tally this season, although they threatened to tighten things up with a near victory over the Green Bay Packers last week.

There appears to be a lot of Ls on the way at the top of the draft order, but then again, it’s the NFL, where anything can happen in a given week.

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