Race for the 1st Overall Pick, Giants and Patriots Gain Momentum, Bears Maintain Top Position

Vince Carbonneau
November 14, 2023  (10:21)

Believe it or not, we've reached the 10-week mark of the 2023 NFL season, signaling the halfway point and separating contenders from pretenders.

For many teams falling into the pretenders category, their focus has now shifted towards the 2024 NFL Draft with eight weeks left in the season. The race for the coveted first overall pick is gaining momentum, and the draft order is expected to undergo significant changes.
As of Week 10, three teams have emerged as frontrunners for the top pick:
1. Chicago Bears (via CAR) - 1st Pick
- Record: 1-8
- Games Behind: —
- Remaining Strength of Schedule: .512
The 2023 season has been a catastrophe for the Carolina Panthers, who currently hold the league's worst record at 1-8. To compound their woes, they won't have a first-round pick due to their trade for the 2023 first overall pick, which ultimately became Bryce Young and now belongs to the Chicago Bears. This situation presents the Bears with a golden opportunity, albeit one that hinges on a significant decision concerning their quarterback position.
Justin Fields has experienced both highs and lows in his career, showing glimpses of being a franchise quarterback but struggling with consistency. Chicago's trade with Carolina is likely to secure them the first overall pick in the talent-rich 2024 draft. In this scenario, prospects like Caleb Williams and Drake Maye, top-tier quarterbacks, become tempting choices for general manager Ryan Poles.
If Fields can turn his performance around and prove himself as a franchise quarterback, the first overall pick could become even more valuable for the Bears. They could select a blue-chip prospect like Marvin Harrison Jr. or trade the pick to a team in need of a quarterback, potentially fetching a substantial return, exceeding what they received from the Panthers for the 2023 first overall pick.
The developments in both Chicago and Carolina over the final eight weeks will be captivating. The Panthers may reluctantly embrace tanking, while the Bears stand to reap the benefits.
2. New York Giants - 2nd Pick
- Record: 2-8
- Games Behind: 0.5
- Remaining Strength of Schedule: .522
The 2023 season has been a painful one for New York Giants fans to endure, transitioning from a playoff appearance just a season ago to a team that some consider the league's worst. After a humiliating 49-17 defeat to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10, the Giants have become strong contenders for the first overall pick, even viewed by some as favorites to secure it.
The quarterback situation has been a subject of intense debate in New York. Injuries to Daniel Jones and backup Tyrod Taylor forced the Giants to turn to rookie Tommy DeVito in recent weeks, resulting in poor performance. It's challenging to envision the Giants winning more games this season, potentially leading to a top pick that adds to the ongoing quarterback discussion.
While Daniel Jones is a solid player who contributed to the team's playoff berth last season and isn't the root cause of the Giants' struggles, the upcoming draft features a deep quarterback class. This puts general manager Joe Schoen in a tough spot, considering the significant investment in Jones. If the Giants choose to build around him, they will have access to top-tier prospects like Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Joe Alt, Marvin Harrison Jr., and others.
It's been a year of losses in the Big Apple, but the Giants could win the race for the first overall pick.
3. New England Patriots - 3rd Pick
- Record: 2-8
- Games Behind: 0.5
- Remaining Strength of Schedule: .541
The New England Patriots, once an NFL dynasty, have experienced a dramatic fall from grace. With a dismal 2-8 record, they've looked as bad as their standings suggest, particularly on offense. The absence of playmakers and offensive struggles have created a significant quarterback controversy.
Mac Jones, initially touted as Tom Brady's successor, has seen regression since his rookie season. Constant changes in offensive coordinators, a lack of offensive weapons, and subpar performance have fueled the quarterback debate in New England.
Currently holding a top-three pick, it's reasonable to assume that New England is eyeing a quarterback in the draft. Caleb Williams or Drake Maye landing in New England could be a game-changer for a team currently in disarray. While the Patriots face a bleak future, a top-tier prospect could potentially reverse their fortunes and set them on the path to recovery.
The Race for the Bottom:
As the regular season approaches its conclusion, the race for the first overall pick intensifies, offering a captivating subplot alongside the playoff race. While the draft order remains fluid, one thing is certain: the next eight weeks will shape the future of several struggling franchises.
Race for the 1st Overall Pick, Giants and Patriots Gain Momentum, Bears Maintain Top Position

Will the Bears win the "race" for the first pick?

yes2076.9 %
no623.1 %
Latest 10 stories