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What Week 16 means for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

The Bengals are closing in on securing the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. We break down what the Week 16 schedule means for the top of the draft order.

Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals stands on the sideline during the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 8, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Welcome to Week 16! We’ve reached the penultimate week of the 2019 regular season, and the playoff picture and draft order almost finalized. The Bengals hold a two-game lead on the Giants, Dolphins, and Washington for the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Cincinnati would need to win out for any of those three to have a crack at the top pick.

The Bengals do have some winnable games to close out the season. They travel to Miami this weekend and host Cleveland next week. They’ll probably lose both, but if two weeks from now they’d won both, I wouldn’t exactly be shocked. The Dolphins stink and the Browns are a mess in spite of huge preseason expectations. I doubt Cincinnati wins both, but crazier things have happened.

We get a wide assortment of matchups that could shake up the top third of the draft order. Along with Bengals-Dolphins, Giants-Washington will impact the top five of the draft order. Lions-Broncos and Falcons-Jaguars could shake things up further down this early group. The playoffs are generally not impacted outside of deeper tiebreakers, but there is plenty in the draft order picture that these teams are playing for in Week 16.

Here is what the top of the draft order looks like heading into Week 16. Strength of schedule provided courtesy of Tankathon, and it is followed by their Week 16 opponent.

1. Cincinnati Bengals: 1-13 (.565) — @ Dolphins
2. New York Giants: 3-11 (.471) — @ Washington
3. Miami Dolphins: 3-11 (.491) — vs. Bengals
4. Washington: 3-10 (.493) — vs. Giants
5. Detroit Lions: 3-10-1 (.504) — @ Broncos
6. Arizona Cardinals: 4-9-1 (.540) — @ Seahawks
7. New York Jets 5-9 (.473) — vs. Steelers
8. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-9 (.476) — @ Falcons
9. Los Angeles Chargers 5-9 (.504) — vs. Raiders
10. Denver Broncos 5-9 (.527) — vs. Lions
11. Carolina Panthers 5-9 (.544) — @ Colts
12. Atlanta Falcons: 5-9 (.557) — vs. Jaguars