How does Week 11 of the NFL schedule shake up the order of the 2024 NFL Draft?
For information on where things stand, we turn to Austin Mock’s predictions. Mock uses the NFL’s betting model to calculate each game’s score and final winning percentage for each team. The model pulls out older data and uses data from this year as the season progresses. The simulation is then run 100,000 times after each day’s game, in this case, giving us our top 10 draft order and each team’s overall win and playoff probabilities.
Projected Top 10 (as of November 21)
A few thoughts on this week’s forecast:
1. The giants did the bears a favor
The Bears helped themselves — from a draft standpoint, at least — in Detroit’s late-game slump. The Bears’ Week 11 win was their fourth of the season, pushing their current (unprojected) draft position to No. 7 and giving them a few more wins to look at the possibility of a teenage pick. .
Instead, the Bears held on at No. 5 in Mock’s projected order and moved back to the No. 1 spot via Carolina’s pick last March. You can thank the Giants for the latter development. After missing seven of eight games (and losing quarterback Daniel Jones for the season), the Giants were left for dead in a 31-19 upset of Washington with Tommy DeVito under center. That result moved the Giants down one spot to No. 2, in our latest estimates.
The biggest threats against Chicago/Carolina are Arizona (4.3 projected wins) and New England (4.5 projected wins).
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2. It’s a ‘big’ week for the Top 10.
Relatively, of course. But here’s our schedule for Week 12:
• Carolina at Tennessee: We’ve already covered the Panthers, but the Titans (6.0 projected wins, 0.5 percent win chance) are creeping into the top five. As an aside, Mike Vrabel’s team plays five of its remaining seven games at home, so there could be talk of a string-building miracle going down.
• New England at New York Giants: In recent years, networks have moved this game to a prime-time slot. This season, it’s buried (literally) in the middle of the dreaded 1pm ET Sunday slate. This tank season is special. The winner will probably skip the 1st race.
• Los Angeles Rams at Arizona: 4-6 The Rams aren’t far off from being 6-4, but the record is there. And at this point, it’s bad enough that they’re stuck with a top 10-10 pick. The Cardinals are No. 2 in our projections (and in the current draft order). Does that put them in QB-or-bust territory? Hmm…
3. Can Marvin Harrison Jr. change the direction of the Cardinals?
As has been discussed and will continue to be discussed, the Cardinals may have Kyler Murray’s decision to make this postseason. The 26-year-old quarterback has five years left on his $220 million contract (although guaranteed money expires before the fifth year in 2028). Arizona, meanwhile, is expected to land the No. 2 pick in April’s draft and grab Houston’s first-round slot (projected at No. 23) as a result of the ’23 draft trade.
That’s the perfect setup to grab a QB (Caleb Williams or Drake Maye), then go back in the 1st round to get another plug-and-play starter to help speed up the rebuild. Except… well, which plan holds the most promise for this franchise? Williams/May and what comes after in Round 1? Or Murray and Marvin Harrison Jr. — and maybe a little sweeter than trading up to No. 3?
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Harrison is elite, full stop. Our draft guru Dane Brugler called him “the best wide receiver prospect I’ve reviewed in the last decade.” He will help turn that Arizona offense around for the better, probably faster than any incoming QB could.
4. Welcome (back) to the Top 10…
… Las Vegas.
Credit to Antonio Pierce for what he’s gotten from this Raiders roster in his three games as interim coach. If the Raiders can recover from their Week 12 upset in Kansas City, we’ll have no choice but to talk about them as wild-card contenders.
But for now, they’re 5-6 and are expected to draft No. 9. Their win total (7.2) gives them at least two more wins in their last six games — a schedule that includes two against the Chiefs, a season finale against Denver and visiting Minnesota. It looks like this Las Vegas season could go either way.
5. How many playing fields are actually occupied?
Obviously, you can’t see it in our 10-10 chart above, but at the opposite end of the NFL rankings, Mock’s model has 9 teams with an 88.9 percent or better passing probability. So that leaves five more spots in the 14-team playoff field.
Top Seven Projections in the NFC: Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco, New Orleans, Dallas, Minnesota and Seattle – The seven are currently in contention, even if the projections are for Minnesota and Seattle. The Eagles, Lions and 49ers each have a more than 93 percent chance of winning.
Top seven expected in the AFC: Kansas City, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Miami, Cleveland, Houston and Pittsburgh. The Chiefs (96.2 percent) and Dolphins (84.3 percent) have the strongest division title shots. Buffalo, missing its scheduled field, sits a half game out of the wild card race heading into Week 11.
(Top photo of Tommy DeVito: Michael Owens/Getty Images)
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