2024 NFL Draft: Patriots inch closer to No. 1 pick with Week 9 loss

2024 NFL Draft: Patriots inch closer to No. 1 pick with Week 9 loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots put up a good fight Sunday in their Week 9 game against the Washington Commanders, but they suffered a 20-17 defeat to drop their record to 2-7.

The last time the Patriots were 2-7 through nine games was the 2000 season, and they wound up finishing 5-11.

The latest loss is actually good for the Patriots because it increases the likelihood of them securing a top-five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

A top-five pick would help the Patriots address one of their biggest roster weaknesses -- quarterback, wide receiver, left tackle, etc. -- by selecting a top-tier prospect in what's being projected as a really strong draft class.

The Patriots currently own the No. 5 pick in the 2024 draft. They were helped by the Green Bay Packers beating the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday afternoon. That result moved the Packers out of the group of two-win teams.

The Patriots' chances of landing a top-five pick are also helped by the fact they have the toughest remaining schedule in the league. Their last eight opponents have a combined .556 win percentage.

Next up for the Patriots is a Week 10 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts in Germany. They have a Week 11 bye before playing at the New York Giants. The Patriots are actually in the softest part of their schedule right now. It's possible they could win a couple of these games and hurt their ability to earn a top five selection.

These are the opponents left for the Patriots:

Here's the latest order for the top 10 of the 2024 NFL Draft. This list will be updated as more Week 9 games conclude.

10. Tennessee Titans, 3-5

9. Denver Broncos, 3-5

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3-5

7. Green Bay Packers, 3-5

6. Los Angeles Rams, 3-6

5. New England Patriots, 2-7

4. New York Giants, 2-7

3. Chicago Bears, 2-7

2. Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers, 1-6)

1. Arizona Cardinals, 1-8