Predicting the 2020 NFL Draft Order At 2019 Season Midpoint

Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

We've officially kicked the door in on the second half of the 2019 NFL season after last night's Chargers-Raiders contest -- throwing us into Week 10 with much anticipation lingering on both ends of the spectrum. Those teams in the hunt for a postseason spot and playoff seeding have much work left ahead, as do the teams looking to angle themselves into more favorable NFL Draft positioning. With so many teams lingering with zero or one win so far this season, there's a crowded mess of teams that could potentially crash the party atop the 2020 NFL Draft order. Exactly what that order looks like? That's our objective today. Courtesy of, I've taken each NFL team's current record as of this morning and forecasted the end result of every game left on the schedule left to be played -- even the postseason.

My objective? To forecast what the formal 1st-round of the 2020 NFL Draft order is going to look like when the clock hits all zeroes on the scoreboard at the Super Bowl this February. If you like my end results, write it in sharpie. If you dislike the final product, I have good news for you. I have no idea what's actually going to happen.

But based on what we've seen thus far this season, here's my best shot. Without further delay, here is my formal prediction for the 2020 NFL Draft's 1st-round order as we enter the second-half of the 2019 season.

1. Cincinnati Bengals

Believe it or not, the Bengals have a chance to win a couple of football games here. The team has games remaining against the Jets (in Cincinnati), the Dolphins (in Miami) and two games remaining against a chaos riddled Cleveland Browns team.


2. Miami Dolphins

Speaking of teams with winnable games on the horizon. After a brutal first month of the season, the Dolphins schedule is suddenly much friendlier in the second half of the year. The big games for playoff positioning? A three week stretch in December that has the Dolphins play the Jets and Giants in New York before coming home to host the Bengals.


3. Washington Redskins

Washington's next game is the Jets off the bye week. There aren't many other winnable games the rest of the way aside of (maybe?) Week 12 at home against Detroit and Week 15 at home against the Giants. Three of Washington's last four? At Green Bay (Week 14), vs. Philadelphia (Week 15) and at Dallas (Week 17).


4. Atlanta Falcons

Things aren't going to get better for the Falcons. New Orleans (twice) and San Francisco loom on the schedule in the second half, so that's not great. But what is great? Two games against Tampa Bay, a home tilt against Jacksonville and a divisional game against a Cam Newton-less Carolina Panthers.


5. New York Giants (Coin Flip)

A rookie quarterback and an inability to get RB Saquon Barkley going on the ground (33 carries for 92 yards over the last two games)? Not a great mix. The Giants play the Jets before going on the bye and playing in Chicago. Two December games against the Eagles, who will be looking to make a playoff push, will make it hard for the Giants to get any late mojo working.


6. New York Jets (Coin Flip)

Perhaps losses in Week 11 to Washington and Week 13 to Cincinnati will prompt the Jets to admit their mistake and drop coach Adam Gase, pronto? The Jets have winnable games against the Giants, Redskins, Bengals and Dolphins in the back half of the year and games against modest competition in Oakland and Pittsburgh as well. There's enough here to piece together a couple of wins.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ain't no way the Bucs are going to lose to the Cardinals this week in the 'Bruce Arians Revenge Game'! No way. After that? It's not great. Tampa gets two games against the lowly Falcons but still must play three of the AFC South teams plus the Detroit Lions.


8. Denver Broncos

Denver comes out of the bye and draws...wait for it. *Deep breath* At Minnesota, at Buffalo, home vs. the Chargers (who are coming off the bye), at Houston and at Kansas City.

I don't know what the Broncos did to the football schedulers this offseason but they're paying for it now, whatever it is.


9. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears)

Four straight losses for the Bears coming out of the bye with an offense that looks completely lost is...ah, not ideal. Neither is not having this pick to get into the 2020 Quarterback class action after watching Mitchell Trubisky completely regress in year three.


10. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are a fun ball club. But they've got to play the Rams (twice), San Francisco again and Seattle (again) through their final seven games. The good news? They pull Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh and Cleveland as winnable games sprinkled throughout the back half.


11. Cleveland Browns

The schedule softens up for Cleveland, but then again that was supposed to start last week against Denver and Cleveland completely dropped the ball. This team has talent, so I think they'll make a push -- they draw the Bills at home, the Steelers on a short week at home for TNF and then the Dolphins. But this team is poorly coached and if they drop a December trap game (@ Arizona Week 15), the push for .500 could see the wheels completely fall off the bus over the final two weeks (vs. Baltimore and at Cincinnati)


12. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are getting healthy, so that's cool. What's not cool is now having to play the Chiefs twice and the Vikings over their final 6 games. Oh, right -- and their "home field advantage" is surrendered next week to play in Mexico City and they'll host the Raiders for another home game and it wouldn't be a surprise to see more silver and black than powder blues in attendance. Tough finishing slate ahead.


13. Tennessee Titans

Congratulations, Tennessee, you get to welcome Patrick Mahomes back to the fray. Of Tennessee's final seven games, you get two match-ups with the Texans, a game against the Saints, a road trip to Indianapolis, a road trip to Oakland and the Mahomes-led Chiefs. Pretty brutal finish lies ahead for the Titans.


14. Jacksonville Jaguars

Nick Foles: officially back. And the Jaguars' stretch run is pretty easily digestible. They do have a cross-country trip to play Oakland in December and catch the Titans coming off the bye in Week 12, though.


15. Detroit Lions

Four NFC North games lie ahead for the Lions, so they'll have a chance to make their mark on the division. And Detroit also gets Washington, Tampa Bay and Denver, too. There's potential to make something of a playoff run, but I just don't think this team is consistent enough yet and as you'll see, the competition for playoff spots in the NFC this year is BRUTAL.


16. Oakland Raiders

Will the real Oakland Raiders please stand up? I can't keep track on what this team really is. But here's the good news. They get the Bengals this week and the Jets the week after that. If the Raiders can find some consistency, they can push past 8 wins and look to challenge for a wild card spot.


17. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers)

Hosting the Rams off the bye and then going to Cleveland in a span of 4 days isn't a great start to the back half of the schedule. But Pittsburgh then gets Cincinnati, Cleveland at home and Arizona before finishing with two tough games in 3 weeks with Buffalo and Baltimore. An impressive finish regardless, given the loss of Ben Roethlisberger and the 1-4 start.


18. Dallas Cowboys

Big trouble in Big D? Dallas gets Minnesota next week and still has big games against New England, Philadelphia, Buffalo and the Los Angeles Rams the rest of the way. Dallas has a tough finish ahead of them to push for the postseason -- they may have to steal an AFC East win to make up for the Jets loss and defeat the Eagles once again in Philly Week 16 in order to position themselves to do so based on everyone's remaining schedules.


19. Carolina Panthers

Losing Cam Newton for the rest of the year sucks. Having an MVP candidate in Christian McCaffrey does not suck. The Panthers have Green Bay and New Orleans as road games in the next three weeks, which also sucks. But they play the Falcons twice and Washington as the other 3 games in their next 5, which also does not suck. Ultimately, Seattle and New Orleans as two of their final 3 is enough to keep Carolina from any postseason magic.


20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams)

You know what sucks more than missing the playoffs at 9-7? Missing the playoffs at 11-5. The last time we something like this materialize was in 2008 when the New England Patriots missed the postseason. And the Rams, at 5-3 currently, may be at the mercy of Minnesota and Seattle/San Francisco. The Rams have already logged big games in the conference against the Saints, Seahawks and 49ers once already -- and they're 1-2 in those contests. We'll find out how much margin for error the Rams have in December before a 3 game stretch against Seattle, Dallas and San Francisco -- but they have the Ravens in the back half of the year, too. This could get really interesting.



21. Buffalo Bills (AFC Wild Card #5 Seed)

At 6-2, Buffalo is sitting pretty. On the AFC side, four wins gets you into the dance. And I think that's exactly what they get. Winnable games against Cleveland and Miami and Denver start the back half before a short week in Dallas (Thanksgiving) and the Ravens, Steelers and Patriots come calling. Pittsburgh and New England are road games, too. Thankfully Buffalo took care of business early on, it leaves them plenty of wiggle room vs. a tough second half.


22. Indianapolis Colts (AFC Wild Card #6 Seed)

At 5-3, the Colts don't quite have the same wiggle room. They're lucky to catch the Dolphins this week with Jacoby Brissett questionable. The Saints game in New Orleans Week 15 on MNF seems like the lone contest I don't see the Colts having at least some chance to win -- this is a well coached, young, hard nosed team. That will get the job done with games against Miami, Jacksonville (twice), Houston, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Carolina still on the schedule.


23. Seattle Seahawks (NFC Wild Card #5 Seed)

If I told you the 7-2 Seahawks went 4-3 the rest of the way, would you be mad? What If I told you those games include the undefeated 49ers (twice), in Philadelphia, the Minnesota Vikings, in Los Angeles against the Rams and in Carolina against the Panthers? Are you still mad? Seattle has a legit chance at a division title, but based on the schedule they may only get there if they sweep the 49ers. I don't think that happens.


24. Philadelphia Eagles (NFC East Champions)

Huh? The Eagles are going to finish the season on a 9-game win streak, you say? Listen -- the Birds are on a bye this week and then get the Patriots at home as a 5-4 team in need of big wins in the race for the NFC East. Philly has 3 road games left: in Miami, in Washington and in New York against the Giants. Three dubs. Dallas thumped Philly last time around, but Dallas now has to come play in the cold against Philly Week 16. The Eagles also get the Giants a second time on Monday Night Football and the only game we haven't mentioned yet is the Seahawks coming across the country on Sunday Night Football. A very favorable second half schedule, considering the Eagles get the two toughest teams at home, including the Patriots coming off the bye.


25. Minnesota Vikings (NFC Wild Card #6 Seed)

There's no shame in not winning the NFC North when you finish 11-5. The Vikings, at 6-3, have a tough one this week in Dallas before hosting Denver and going on the bye. Minnesota travels to Seattle after their bye week and then finishes with 3 of 4 at home. This team is playing tremendous complimentary football right now.


26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans: AFC South Champions)

A 5-2 finish for Houston (now 6-3) should sit just fine with Texans fans -- but 11-5 probably won't get you a first-round bye and it definitely won't get you home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Houston should aim to nail down one of their next three: at Baltimore, home against Indianapolis and New England. If they do that, their final four games are much softer, which puts them in the drivers seat to finish strong.


27. New England Patriots (AFC East Champions)

How mad are you, New England? Don't lie. Here's the deal -- we often say teams haven't played anyone, and that's often not true. It's not true with the Patriots anymore, who subsequently also have a loss to show for it. New England can kick their feet up and coast -- but they may need to because they've got a pretty brutal 4 game stretch coming out of their Week 10 bye: at Philadelphia, vs. Dallas, at Houston and vs. Kansas City. I don't think they'll sweep that group and they've got plenty of wiggle room with Cincinnati, Buffalo and Miami on the back-quarter of the schedule.


28. Green Bay Packers (NFC North Champions)

Week 16 at Minnesota projects to be for all the marbles in the NFC North. Green ay has a tough one in San Francisco Week 12 between now and then but the rest of this schedule goes down easy. Giants, Redskins and Bears will ensure double digit wins alone for the Pack -- but I think they sweep Minnesota this year and walk away with the division.


29. Baltimore Ravens (AFC North Champions)

The best offense in football still has to play the Bengals, Jets and Browns on the second half of their schedule. Adding in tough games against Houston, San Francisco and Pittsburgh are tough to swallow, but each comes at home. This team is dynamic and will be tough to stop. Things could easily change -- but I see a postseason run in Baltimore's future, too. They need to go at least 6-2 to ensure a bye...I think they do.


30. San Francisco 49ers (NFC West Champions)

How does 8-0 become 13-3? Games against the Seahawks (twice), Packers, Ravens (in Baltimore), Saints (in New Orleans) and Rams. The 49ers are for real. But it's hard to see this team not tripping up at least a few spots along the way. They've got a brutal end of November/beginning of December, so look for San Fran to fall off their 16-0 pace. The biggest game of all? Week 14 versus the Saints in New Orleans -- which in my predictions ended up deciding home field advantage in the NFC. I picked the Saints at home -- and then did so again in the NFC Championship. If the 49ers want a different outcome, that's a must-win.


31. Kansas City Chiefs (AFC West/AFC Conference Champions)

The Chiefs seem to have survived a scare with Patrick Mahomes -- who they'll need if they're going to make a deep postseason run. Here's the good news: this team plays the Chargers (twice), Bears, Broncos, Raiders and Titans still this season. I think the schedule sets up favorably for them to recover from losing 3 of 4 in the heart of the season. Grinding out a win against Minnesota this past week should be viewed as a key win moving forward.


32. New Orleans Saints (NFC South/NFC Conference/Super Bowl Champions)

7-1 and 5-0 with the back-up quarterback. My goodness, this team is something. And they play vs. Atlanta, at Tampa Bay, vs. Carolina and at Atlanta in their next four contests -- which should put them at a very health 11-1 or 10-2 going into their huge date with the 49ers. The futile nature of the NFC South serves the Saints well, as they still need to play 5 division games in their final 8 contests. That all sets up for home-field advantage in the NFC -- and that's a very difficult place to play and win in the playoffs.

...unless the zebras have something to say about it.


Written By:

Kyle Crabbs

Director of Content

Director of Content & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Former NDT Scouting Overlord.