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Bengals will pick between 7th and 11th in 2017 NFL Draft

The Bengals currently hold the #8 pick. How much can the Week 17 games affect that?

NFL Draft Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bengals were knocked out of their very slim playoff possibility in Week 15. Since then, the most important thing they have been playing for is their positioning in the 2017 NFL Draft. The Bengals did their part, thanks to a Randy Bullock missed field goal, to move up to the eighth spot after Week 16. With a 5-9-1 record, the Bengals are currently behind seven teams in the draft order:

With only one game remaining, if the Bengals were to lose to the Ravens in Week 17, and all of the teams with worse records were to win, the highest the Bengals could climb, is to the seventh spot, passing only the Chargers. In that scenario, the Bengals would be 5-10-1, while the Chargers would be 5-11. So the highest possible spot for the Bengals is #7 overall.

The next few teams behind the Bengals in the draft order are:

If the Bengals were to beat the Ravens in Week 17, and the teams behind them were to lose, the Bengals could tumble down to the 11th spot. In this scenario, the Bengals would end the season with a 6-9-1 record and drop behind the Eagles 6-10, Panthers 6-10, and Cardinals 6-9-1.

The Bengals will end up with a draft pick anywhere between #7 and #11. If they lose, they will be assured of picking seventh or eighth. If they win, they will need help to avoid dropping all the way to the 11th spot.

Week 17 games that can  affect the Bengals’ draft order:

  • Chargers vs Chiefs: A Chiefs’ win prevents the Bengals from getting any higher than #8 overall. With the Chiefs playing for playoff seeding, this is a strong possibility.
  • Eagles vs Dallas: If the NFC leading Cowboys defeat the Eagles, the Bengals need to lose to avoid dropping one spot. The Cowboys have already locked up home field advantage in the NFC, so they could possibly rest enough players to give the Eagles an easy victory.
  • Panthers at Buccaneers: A Buccaneers’ win would also require the Bengals to lose to avoid dropping one spot. The Buccaneers have been eliminated from the playoffs, so this game is a glorified exhibition match as draft order is all that’s on the line. Bengals fans should want the Panthers to win.
  • Cardinals at Rams: A Rams win would also force the Bengals to lose to avoid dropping one spot in the order. The Rams’ pick actually belongs to the Titans, due to last year’s draft trade that game the Rams the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

From a draft perspective, rooting interests for Week 17 are: Chargers. Eagles. Panthers. Cardinals.