While the playoff race is entering the home stretch, a very different contest is taking place at the bottom of the NFL standings. The league’s bottom-dwellers are in contention for the top pick in the 2013 draft.
Teams do not willingly take part in this race. In all likelihood, most of the coaches for these teams will not even be in their current position by the time the first round starts.
Still, the prospect of landing this year’s top pick will be a silver lining for the teams that endured disappointment this season.
Here are the teams in position to pick first this coming April.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-11)
The Chiefs have not brought smiles to their fans this season, but the team will likely be adding a potential franchise cornerstone in the draft.
At 2-11, Kansas City is tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the worst record in the league. The team will finish its schedule against the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos.
The Colts are in excellent position to earn a wild-card spot while the Broncos have already won the AFC West. The Chiefs will be heavy underdogs in both of these games.
While Jacksonville may also finish with a 2-14 record, it is nearly certain that Kansas City will lose its remaining games.
Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)
The Jaguars are also a serious threat to take the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, and it may take a tiebreaker to determine which team has the first choice in April.
After enduring a dismal season, Jacksonville fans will have to suffer through a game against the New England Patriots next week, and this matchup will likely end in a blowout.
With that being said, the Jags’ last game of the season will come against the Tennessee Titans, which is one of the two teams they have beaten this year.
This gives Jacksonville a slightly higher chance than the Chiefs to win one of its two remaining games.
Detroit Lions (4-10)
The Lions season just became even more disappointing after a 38-10 loss to the lowly Arizona Cardinals.
Detroit is tied with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Oakland Raiders at 4-10. In order for any of these teams to have a chance at the No. 1 pick, both Kansas City and Jacksonville will have to win out.
While the Mayans being right and the world ending before the Week 16 games start is a more likely scenario, the Lions are in the best position to capitalize on a late surge from these teams.
The Atlanta Falcons and the Chicago Bears are the two teams left on the Lions schedule, and they will almost certainly lose them both. If any team is able to make a run at the first pick other than the Chiefs and Jaguars, it will be Detroit.