How far can Cardinals’ 1st-round pick fall in the 2024 NFL Draft with 1 more win?
Jan 3, 2024, 2:33 PM | Updated: Jan 5, 2024, 1:15 pm
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The Arizona Cardinals’ time in the No. 2 spot of the 2024 NFL Draft was short-lived.
That’ll happen when you pick up a comeback win over a playoff contender like the Philadelphia Eagles.
In what was a defining victory for first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort — and a credit to what they’re building — Sunday’s showing did little favors for the team’s first-round status in April’s draft.
With an assist from Tankathon, here’s a closer look at where the Cardinals stand heading into the last week of the regular season, as well as the repercussions of earning the W or taking the L against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
2024 NFL Draft order snapshot (Jan. 3)
1. Carolina Panthers *owned by the Chicago Bears* (2-14)
2. Washington Commanders (4-12)
3. New England Patriots (4-12)
4. Arizona Cardinals (4-12)
5. New York Giants (5-11)
6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11)
7. Tennessee Titans (5-11)
8. New York Jets (6-10)
9. Atlanta Falcons (7-9)
10. Chicago Bears (7-9)
The Panthers (Bears) are officially locked into the No. 1 spot. The same can’t be said for the next six picks, though, with just one game of separation between the Commanders at No. 2 and the Titans at No. 7.
What does that mean for the Cardinals’ pick?
Regardless of what the Cardinals do against the Seattle Seahawks in this week’s season finale, Arizona cannot drop further than seventh in the draft order.
The worst-case scenario is just that but would only happen if the Cardinals win in addition to losses by the Giants, Chargers and Titans.
Still, that would be a pretty far fall from a top-three pick that was in Arizona’s grasp just last week if that were to be the case.
On the other side of things, there’s still a shot for the Cardinals to find themselves back inside the top 3 with a loss and a win by either the Commanders or Patriots.
Per ESPN’s Seth Walder, the Cardinals have a 39% chance to land a top-3 pick.
It’s a longer shot to get back into the No. 2 slot, though, with Arizona sporting an 8% chance for the second spot, per Walder.
The Commanders, however, have the best shot at securing either the second (69%) or third pick (91%). The Patriots are next up at 23% and 64%, respectively.
Cardinals have stronger strength of schedule
If it comes down to the strength-of-schedule tiebreaker between the Cardinals and any of the teams within a game of them, Arizona would end up with the lesser pick due to a stronger SOS (.562):
Games to watch
There are a lot of games to keep tabs on this week aside from Cardinals-Seahawks.
Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars could be getting franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence back in a game filled with playoff implications against a Titans team riding a three-game losing streak that includes a Week 17 beatdown at the hands of the Houston Texans.
New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
The Patriots kept their Week 17 tilt against the Buffalo Bills a lot closer than many imagined it would be.
And with two questionable offenses, this one has the makings of turning into a low-scoring affair.
If you watch this game, you deserve hazard pay or a medal.
New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are probably more than ticked off after losing to former coaches Gannon and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis on top of falling out of No. 1 playoff seed contention.
I would imagine a very determined Eagles squad will be on display against a divisional foe, especially given that the NFC East title is still in reach with a win and a Dallas Cowboys loss.
Los Angeles Chargers vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs look nowhere near the juggernaut they have been in previous seasons.
But against a Chargers team down quarterback Justin Herbert and riding a four-game losing streak, Kansas City and its receiving corps shouldn’t need to do too much to get the win — even with Blaine Gabbert running the show.
Washington Commanders vs. Dallas Cowboys
Losers of seven straight with the 11-5 Cowboys left to face, the offseason can’t come soon enough for the Commanders.
This should be quick work by Dallas, who needs a win or an Eagles loss to secure the NFC East.