Having lost their last three games with a combined score of 93-20 to drop to 1-5 on the season, the New England Patriots are one of the worst teams in the NFL right now.
As a consequence, they are currently closer to the top of the draft standings than a spot in the playoff picture. In fact, they would be the owners of the sixth overall selection if the draft would take place this week.
A look at the current 2024 draft order of teams who would not qualify for the playoffs shows that only five other clubs are below New England right now:
NFL Draft order: Week 7
|1||Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers)||0-6||.000||.531|
|5||New York Giants||1-5||.167||.570|
|6||New England Patriots||1-5||.167||.570|
|9||Green Bay Packers||2-3||.400||.434|
|10||Los Angeles Chargers||2-3||.400||.505|
|11||New Orleans Saints||3-3||.500||.394|
|13||Arizona Cardinals (via Houston Texans)||3-3||.500||.455|
|14||Las Vegas Raiders||3-3||.500||.469|
|17||New York Jets||3-3||.500||.530|
The Patriots one of five teams exiting Week 6 at 1-5 — one win better than the 0-6 Carolina Panthers, whose first-round pick was traded to Chicago last year — but they are in the least favorable draft position among them. The reason for that is the NFL’s tie-breaking procedure for teams with identical records.
The New York Giants, meanwhile, earn the fifth spot over New England due to their worse strength of victory. Whereas the Giants’ lone win of the season came over the 1-5 Cardinals, giving them a .167 strength of victory, the Patriots managed to defeat the 3-3 New York Jets to earn a .500 SOS.
Obviously, though, the draft order will change over the coming three months. With the Patriots having played only six of their 17 games, they still have potential for every outcome — from reentering the race for a postseason spot, to further improving their draft capital through additional losses.
Their next chance to do either one of those things comes on Sunday: the Patriots will host the 4-2 Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium.