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Cardinals vault into top spot in 2019 NFL Draft order

Arizona Cardinals v Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 16: Deion Jones #45 of the Atlanta Falcons tackles Trent Sherfield #16 of the Arizona Cardinals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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The Cardinals are back on top. Of something.

Losing to the Falcons Sunday dropped Arizona to 3-11, which in a very specific way is a good thing.

If the season ended today, the Cardinals would pick first in the 2019 NFL Draft, followed by the Raiders (3-11). Also, a lot of people would be saying: “Why did the NFL season end after Week 15?”

The week’s big losers were the 49ers, who won, and slipped out of the three-way knot of teams with three wins vying for the top pick. A week ago, they were first on this chart and they’re fourth now, having been leapfrogged by the Jets (4-10), who have an edge in strength of schedule (which is the first tiebreaker for draft order).

The Jaguars (4-10) jumped to the fifth spot by losing while the Bills and Falcons won.

Spots six through 10 would be occupied by the Falcons, Lions, Giants, Buccaneers, and Bills. The Bills were slotted sixth a week ago, but their win and the losses behind them were costly, since they have a higher strength of schedule number which doesn’t help them in those tiebreakers.

While we normally break this off at 10 because it’s such a round number, the Packers would pick 11th at this point based on their 5-8-1 record. That’s remarkable, because it’s not normally where teams picked to win the Super Bowl by some genius like Norman Einstein end up.