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Packers move up to 11th in projected 2019 NFL Draft order after week 15

The Packers’ second pick will be defined by the Saints’ success in the postseason.

2018 NFL Draft Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers were hoping to have the 32nd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Every team does — in most situations, that would mean that they won the Super Bowl the year before. But in 2019, the Packers might get the 32nd pick for a different reason.

The New Orleans Saints are currently the top-seeded team in the NFL and the team with the shortest odds to win the Super Bowl, according to several online sportsbooks. Green Bay acquired the Saints’ upcoming first-round pick through a trade on the first day of the 2018 NFL Draft, and thus are tied to New Orleans’ futures in the postseason.

Currently, it appears that the best that pick would end up being is somewhere in the 25-to-28 range. The Saints can lock in a first-round bye with either two wins over their final three games (including tonight’s Monday Night Football contest against the Panthers) OR any combination of at least one win in any of their final three games and at least one loss by either the Los Angeles Rams or the Chicago Bears. If any of those situations happen, which appears likely, New Orleans would be in line for an automatic pass into the Divisional round of the playoffs. Since the seeding of playoff teams depends first on how far they advance, Packers fans should be cheering for an early exit by the Saints to bump that pick up as high as possible.

Now on to the Packers’ pick. Green Bay is alone in the NFL at 5-8-1, thanks to the Cleveland Browns’ victory on Saturday night. That makes the picture very clear — the Packers’ own pick currently sits at 11th overall.

Here’s the current breakdown of the first-round draft order of the top 20 teams, excluding those currently in playoff position.

  1. Arizona Cardinals (3-11)
  2. Oakland Raiders (3-11)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
  4. New York Jets (4-10)
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10)
  6. Detroit Lions (5-9)
  7. Atlanta Falcons (5-9)
  8. New York Giants (5-9)
  9. Buffalo Bills (5-9)
  10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9)
  11. Green Bay Packers (5-8-1)
  12. Cincinnati Bengals OR Denver Broncos (6-8)
  13. Bengals OR Broncos
  14. Carolina Panthers (6-7)
  15. Cleveland Browns (6-7-1)
  16. Miami Dolphins (7-7)
  17. Washington (7-7)
  18. Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)
  19. Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
  20. Tennessee Titans (8-6)