Monday, December 4, 2023

Race for No. 1 pick in 2024 NFL Draft: Bears have 50 percent chance at top pick, Titans now in mix as well

Must read

We are now 11 weeks through the 2023 NFL season, and everyone is paying attention to the ever-changing playoff picture. There’s another race that’s happening on the other side of the spectrum, however, and that’s the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

As it stands, there are five teams considered to be the favorites to win the Caleb Williams sweepstakes: the Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans and Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots. Which squad will “out-lose” the others over the next seven weeks? Let’s take a look.

Chicago Bears (and their pick from Carolina Panthers)

Odds to land No. 1 overall pick: 50.9%

Eight months ago, the Bears sold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to the Panthers for wide receiver D.J. Moore, two picks in the 2023 draft, Carolina’s 2024 first-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick. The Bears, who currently sit at 3-8, again have a shot at the top pick in the draft with their own selection, and also with the pick they got from the Panthers, who are 1-9!

No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young has not taken the Panthers where they want to go just yet, while No. 2 overall pick C.J. Stroud now finds himself in the MVP conversation. Yikes. The Panthers are currently the lone one-win team in the NFL, and they don’t even own their first-round pick! Talk about a nightmare scenario.

Since the Bears own two numbers in this lotto drawing, they obviously have the best chance to earn that top pick. According to SportsLine Data Scientist Stephen Oh, the Bears have a 50.9% chance to win the No. 1 overall pick, and a 98.2% chance of earning a top-three pick.

Bears remaining schedule

  • Current record: 3-8 
  • Projected final record: 5-12

Panthers remaining schedule

  • Current record: 1-9
  • Projected final record: 3-14

Arizona Cardinals

Odds to land No. 1 overall pick: 24.2%  

The Cardinals entered 2023 as the preseason favorites to be the worst team in the league. However, Arizona has over-performed. Joshua Dobbs kept the Cards competitive through the early stages of the regular season, and now Kyler Murray is back under center — and he looked rather spry in his first action of the year. The win over the Falcons took Arizona’s chances for the top pick from over 40% to under 20%. The loss to the Houston Texans brings the Cards up to 24.2%

Arizona doesn’t appear to have interest in “tanking for Caleb.” SportsLine’s Oh gives Arizona the second-best odds of picking first in the 2024 NFL Draft, and a 74% chance of landing in the top three. 

Cardinals remaining schedule

(Bye in Week 14)

  • Current record: 2-9
  • Projected final record: 5-12

New England Patriots

Odds to land No. 1 overall pick: 14.2%  

A factual statement that is hard to believe: The Patriots are a bad football team and Bill Belichick is on the hot seat. The Patriots are 2-8. New England didn’t have eight losses in a single season from 2001-19. 

The Patriots have a quarterback problem, and an offensive problem at large. It feels like we are nearing the end of the Belichick era in New England. Whether he retires at year’s end or is traded, who knows? The bottom line is that the Patriots are in the running for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. After their gross loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Germany, the Patriots’ chances for the No. 1 overall pick went from just 7% to 17.1%, per SportsLine. After Week 11, New England has a 14.2% chance at the top pick, and a 50.4% chance at a pick in the top three. 

Patriots remaining schedule

  • Current record: 2-8
  • Projected final record: 4-13

New York Giants

Odds to land No. 1 overall pick: 8.3%  

Last year, Brian Daboll won NFL Coach of the Year, the Giants made the playoffs and even upset the Vikings and Daniel Jones landed a lucrative, multiyear extension. This season, the Giants are 3-8, ranked dead last in scoring (13.5 points per game) and Jones tore his ACL. To make matters worse, backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor got injured, which forced undrafted rookie Tommy DeVito into the starting lineup.

Last week, SportsLine’s Oh said the Giants had a 22.7% chance to win the No. 1 overall pick, and a 61.2% chance to secure a top-three pick. After their win over the Washington Commanders, however, the Giants have an 8.3% chance at the top pick, and 43.1% chance at a top-three pick. The forecast assumes Taylor will be back after the Giants’ Week 13 bye.

Giants remaining schedule

(Bye in Week 13)

  • Current record: 3-8
  • Projected final record: 4-13

Tennessee Titans

Odds to land No. 1 overall pick: 1.6%    

Welcome to the mix, Mike Vrabel. The Titans are the worst team in the AFC South, and 3-14 dating back to last season. Only the Cardinals have been worse in that span. It’s a bit surprising, because Vrabel had become known for getting the most out of the talent he had, but this team looks bad from the offensive line to the secondary.

The Titans probably won’t lose enough to earn that top pick, but after their 34-14 loss to the Jaguars on Sunday, they are officially in the mix. SportsLine’s Oh says Tennessee has a 1.6% chance at the No. 1 overall pick, and 13.1% chance at a top-three pick. 

Titans remaining schedule


vs. Carolina Panthers


vs. Indianapolis Colts


at Miami Dolphins


vs. Houston Texans


vs. Seattle Seahawks


at Houston Texans


vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Current record: 3-7
  • Projected final record: 5-12

SportsLine top pick odds

Chicago Bears



Arizona Cardinals



New England Patriots



New York Giants



Tennessee Titans






Latest article