If somehow the Bengals fail to lose out, they could still rise as high as second overall under a few specific circumstances.
Hold onto your butts. 2020 #NFLDraft's #1 pick will play the #4 pick next week when Cincinnati travels to Miami. Simultaneously, the #2 and #3 teams will play as the Giants travel to Washington.— Kyle Crabbs (@GrindingTheTape) December 15, 2019
#5 Detroit plays #10 Denver. #7 Jacksonville meets #8 Atlanta. More shakeup coming.
First and foremost, the Bengals have to lose one of their final two games at Miami and against the Browns.
If the Bengals win both of their games, they could rise as high as third overall. As it currently stands, the Bengals have a tougher strength of schedule than the Giants, Redskins, and Dolphins. Since strength of schedule is the first tiebreaker in the draft order, if any of those teams finishes with the same record as the Bengals, then they will take the first overall pick.
Since each of those three teams are 3-11, they could end with the same record as the Bengals if the Bengals win out.
However, the Giants and Redskins play each other next week, so one of those two teams will end 4-12 at worst.
If the Bengals win their last two games, either the Dolphins and the loser of Giants vs. Redskins loses both of their games, then the Bengals could be third overall.
The interesting part will be Week 16, when the Bengals play the Dolphins and the Giants play the Redskins.
The Bengals just have to lose one game in the next two weeks to secure the first overall pick. A 1-15 or 2-14 team could land the top pick, but a 3-13 team would lose the tiebreaker.