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Detroit Lions move up to fifth in NFL draft order, could climb as high as second

DETROIT — Seven losses in nine weeks isn’t exactly the kind of thing Matt Patricia envisioned when taking this job in February, but it could come with the silver lining of a top-five pick in next year’s draft.

The Lions (5-10) are currently sitting on the fifth overall pick after losing 27-9 on Sunday against Minnesota. Only Arizona, Oakland, San Francisco and the Jets are in front of them with one game to go.

Detroit hasn’t had a top-five pick since 2013, when it selected defensive end Ezekiel Ansah at fifth overall.

Of course, a lot could change depending on what happens in Green Bay next Sunday. Strength of schedule is the first tiebreaker, and the Lions have the worst strength of schedule of any team in the top nine in the draft order. (And they still went 5-10? Yikes). That means they would leap frog anyone who falls back into a tie with them.

In fact, they could still climb all the way to second with a loss against the Packers.

Of course, that would mean the Raiders (3-11) have to beat the Broncos tonight, then the Chiefs next week. The Jets (4-11) would have to beat the Patriots, and the 49ers (4-11) would have to beat the Rams. That’s four games where the underdog has to win. Godspeed.

Still, even if all those verdicts don’t happen, any one of them happening would propel Detroit up another spot in the pecking order. The flip side is the club could plummet with a win, because there are four other teams currently with five wins.

Current NFL draft order:

1. Arizona (3-12)

2. Raiders 3-11 (.550)

3. 49ers 4-11 (.504)

4. Jets 4-11 (.508)

5. Lions 5-10 (.504)

6. Buccaneers 5-10 (.521)

7. Bills 5-10 (.525)

8. Giants 5-10 (.525)

9. Jaguars 5-10 (.544)

10. Falcons 6-9 (.490)

11. Panthers 6-9 (.508)

12. Bengals 6-9 (.534)

13. Broncos 6-8 (.517)

14. Packers 6-8-1 (.483)

15. Dolphins 7-8 (.464)

16. Washington 7-8 (.485)

17. Browns 7-7-1 (.513)

18. Eagles 8-7 (.523)

19. Steelers 8-6-1 (.508)

20. Titans 9-6 (.512)

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