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What are the draft implications of the New York Jets game against the Cleveland Browns?

How will the Jets’ draft position be affected by the outcome of tonight’s game?

NFL: Houston Texans at New York Jets Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets play the Cleveland Browns this Thursday. This follows the Jets’ win against the Commanders that dropped them from the 6th overall pick to the 9th overall pick. So what would happen to the Jets’ draft positioning based on whether they win or lose this week?

What if the Jets lose?

If the Jets lose, then their record will be 6-10. This would leave them potentially tied with 5 teams that range from them holding the 5th overall pick to the 9th overall pick. Importantly, draft tiebreakers are determined by strength of schedule (SOS), for which the Jets have a .514.

The only other team tied with them at 6 wins at this moment are the Chicago Bears, who have a strength of schedule of .467. The Jets will not be lower than that by the end of the season. The only way for the Jets to flip spots with the Bears, who currently hold the 8th pick, is if the Bears end with a better record than the Jets.

This means the Jets best likelihood of moving up in the draft is if any of the current 5 win teams win their games. Those teams are the New York Giants (SOS .514), Tennessee Titans (SOS .525), and Los Angeles Chargers (SOS .525). Whether the Giants will end the season with a higher SOS than the Jets by the end of the season is to be determined, but wins by the Titans or Chargers would likely move the Jets up in the draft. For fans rooting for the tank, a Jets loss and wins by the Titans, Chargers, and Bears is the clearest path to the Jets draft position improving, which would move them up to the 6th pick in the draft. If the Giants were to win and their SOS were to be higher than the Jets by week’s end, then the Jets would also pick in front of them (at least heading into the final week of the season) with the 5th overall pick.

What if the Jets win?

If the Jets win, they will have a record of 7-9. This would leave them potentially tied with the teams that hold the 8th through 15th pick in the draft. Once again, this is determined by the strength of schedule tiebreakers, for which the Jets have a .514.

The only team that is currently tied with the Jets on wins is the Bears. However, as previously noted, the Bears SOS is much lower than the Jets, so a Jets win would make it impossible for the Jets to jump the Bears in the draft order even if the Bears also won.

A win by the Jets would leave them potentially tied on wins with the current 7 win teams if they were to lose. Those teams are the Atlanta Falcons (SOS of .420), New Orleans Saints (SOS of .435), Green Bay Packers (SOS of .475), Las Vegas Raiders (SOS of .486), Denver Broncos (SOS of .490), and Minnesota Vikings (SOS of .510). In this case, each of these teams have lower of strength of schedules than the Jets, so they would pick before the Jets if they ended the season with the same number of wins. Importantly, the only team that the Jets have a possibility of having a lower SOS of by year’s end is the Vikings, as the others are all below .500. This would mean if the Jets were to win, then they would fall 1 spot for each of these teams that fail to win this week. The Packers and Vikings play each other this week, so this means the Jets could fall as low as pick 14 if they were to beat the Cleveland Browns this week.

Overall, what could happen?

If the Jets lose, they’ll hold somewhere between 5th and 9th pick, pending the results of the final week of the regular season. If they win, they’ll hold somewhere between the 9th and 14th pick. This means the Jets will hold a pick that can range anywhere from top 5 to middle of the first round after this weekend. In terms of what this means, it amounts to about a late first round pick’s worth of draft pick value based on the DraftTek trade value chart, which places a value of 1700 on the 5th overall pick, 1100 on the 14th overall pick, and 600 (the gap between the 5th and 14th overall pick values) on the 31st overall pick.


Would you trade a late first round pick for the New York Jets to beat the Cleveland Browns?

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