NFC North: NFL draft
We've already noted that the Minnesota Vikings will have the No. 3 overall pick as the only 3-13 team in the NFL. And according to ESPN Stats & Information projections, the Chicago Bears will draft No. 19 regardless of the outcome of Sunday night's game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.
The Bears have the lowest priority among the NFL's seven 8-8 teams because they had the best strength of schedule (.527) from that group. The 8-8 team with the lowest strength of schedule is the Arizona Cardinals, who will pick No. 13.
Draft positioning for the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers will be determined when their playoff seasons conclude.
Note: Years from now, we can note whether this fact has any historical significance: The Vikings finished with a lower strength of schedule than the 2-14 St. Louis Rams. That means the Vikings would have had the No. 2 pick had they not defeated the Washington Redskins in Week 16.
The fine print of Saturday's trade between Detroit and Seattle leaves the Lions, at least temporarily, with a decidedly top-heavy assortment of selections in the April 25-26 draft.
We all know the Lions have five of the first 82 picks, including two in the first round and two in the third. But they have now traded away their fourth, fifth and seventh-round selections. They own an extra sixth-round pick and this analysis suggests they will pick up two seventh-round picks as part of the NFL's compensatory draft program.
As it stands Saturday, here is the position where the Lions will pick in each round:
Round 1: 1
Round 1: 20 (from Dallas)
Round 2: 1
Round 3: 1
Round 3: 18 (from Dallas)
Round 4: None (sent to Dallas)
Round 5: None (sent to Seattle)
Round 6: 1
Round 6: 19 (from Dallas)
Round 7: None (sent to Dallas)