One of the sure signs of calling it a season in the NFL is talk of the draft in the following year. While we're not in full-blown packing-it-in mode with the Bengals sitting at 3-5 at the midway point of the season, we'll just say that we're not holding the same hope that we had a month ago. That being said, it is interesting to think about where the team might sit in the subsequent year's draft order.
The crew at SB Nation compiled the current list of the 2013 NFL Draft order, based on overall records and strength of schedule percentages. As it currently stands, the Bengals sit at No.7 overall with their sub .500 record and a very weak .418 strength of schedule. Really, the projected top ten at this point seems to be a group of usual suspects, minus the New Orleans Saints.
The Oakland Raiders sit at No.10 and while the Bengals don't have a vested interest in their first round pick, they do have one in their second pick in 2013. The last pick in the Carson Palmer deal would have Cincinnati picking around No.42 overall, along with their own second round pick at around No.39. If there's a silver lining to be had, it's in the slew of high picks that the Bengals could use to immediately improve their team.
Familiarly, the Cleveland Browns sit at No. 3 overall. Since they believe that they have their offensive nucleus, it will be interesting to see what direction that they would go with such a high pick. The two AFC North big boys pick in the twenties, with the Steelers sitting at No.23 and the Ravens at No.28. It's been a very Pittsburgh-like turnaround for the black and yellow after their slow start.