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ESPN Analytics details Patriots' chances of top-three pick in 2024 draft

ESPN Analytics details Patriots' chances of top-three pick in 2024 draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The New England Patriots are in a decent spot in regards to securing a top-three pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but that outcome is still far from a slam dunk entering the final week of the regular season.

The Patriots will host the rival New York Jets -- who they have beaten 15 consecutive times dating back to 2015 -- in Sunday's Week 18 finale at Gillette Stadium.

A win would almost certainly eliminate any chance of the Patriots getting a top-three pick. They would need a lot of help in that scenario. A loss to the Jets gives them the best possible odds, but even that outcome doesn't guarantee a top-three pick.

Here are the odds of the Patriots, Commanders, Cardinals and Giants finishing with the No. 2 pick or a top-three selection, per Seth Walder of ESPN Analytics.

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The Patriots, Commanders and Cardinals are all tied for the second-worst record in the league at 4-12. Strength of schedule (SOS) is the first tiebreaker, and the Commanders own that tiebreaker entering Week 18 because theirs is the lowest of the group.

The current draft order for the top four is as follows:

No. 4: Arizona Cardinals, 4-12, .562 SOS

No. 3: New England Patriots, 4-12, .518 SOS

No. 2: Washington Commanders, 4-11, .515 SOS

No. 1: Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers, 2-14, .518 SOS)

If the Patriots and Commanders are both 4-13 after Sunday's games, strength of schedule will be the deciding factor in which team gets the No. 2 pick. Tankathon.com identified the five Week 18 outcomes that would impact the Patriots' strength of schedule rating in the most positive way for them:

  • Falcons beat Saints

  • Steelers beat Ravens

  • Texans beat Colts

  • Bears beat Packers

  • Broncos beat Raiders

The best thing the Patriots can do Sunday to improve their chances of getting at least the No. 3 pick is lose to the Jets. If the Patriots beat the Jets, they will need a lot of help to remain in the top three.