The Bengals are among the NFL’s worst teams this season, and as such, are in line for a top draft pick in 2017.
With a 3-7-1 record, only five teams have lost more games than the Cincinnati Bengals this season. That puts the Bengals in line for the sixth overall draft pick in 2017. The Bengals haven’t had such a high draft pick since selecting A.J. Green with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. That draft began a new era in Cincinnati as Andy Dalton was selected just one round after Green. The duo has gone on to lead the Bengals to five consecutive winning seasons and playoff berths, but, that streak will almost certainly come to an end this season.
While this season may be over for the Bengals, a high draft pick could quickly put the team back in position for another string of successful years.
ESPN projects the Bengals to be picking seventh in the 2017 NFL Draft. If the season ended today, the Bengals would be picking sixth, but ESPN sees the Bengals ending up with a better record than the currently 4-7 Rams. The Titans have the Rams’ first round draft pick due to last year’s trade that handed the Rams the first overall pick, with which they drafted quarterback Jared Goff. So, if the Rams finish the season by losing out, it will be the Titans who benefit.
Here’s what ESPN has to say about their projection:
7. Cincinnati Bengals
FPI odds of top-5 pick: 11.6 percent
FPI odds of top-10 pick: 69.7 percent
Comment: The Bengals played the Ravens tough in Week 12, but the loss of receiver A.J. Green deletes much of their offensive punch. Regardless, their next two games are very winnable and could impact their positioning: at home against the Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) and then at the Browns.
There’s still games left to be played and those games could have a significant impact on the exact positioning the Bengals will have in next year’s draft.
With five weeks left to play, here’s the 2017 NFL order for the first 20 picks.
|#||Team||Rec.||Rec. %||SoS %|
|2||San Francisco 49ers||1-10||0.091||0.517|
|5||New York Jets||3-8||0.273||0.506|
|7||Los Angeles Rams (pick belongs to Titans)||4-7||0.364||0.5|
|11||Green Bay Packers||5-6||0.455||0.526|
|12||San Diego Chargers||5-6||0.455||0.539|
|13||New Orleans Saints||5-6||0.455||0.54|
|14||Philadelphia Eagles (pick belongs to Browns)||5-6||0.455||0.561|
|17||Minnesota Vikings (pick belongs to Eagles)||6-5||0.545||0.48|
|19||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6-5||0.545||0.511|
Picks 21-32 are determined by finishing order in the playoffs. Here are the teams currently in line for the postseason.
- Patriots (9-2, AFC East)
- Raiders (9-2, AFC West)
- Ravens (6-5, AFC North)
- Texans (6-5, AFC South)
- Chiefs (8-3, Wild Card)
- Dolphins (7-4, Wild Card)