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Here's how the Vikings can get a pick in the top 10 of the NFL draft

Losing out could yield a high pick in the 2024 draft
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The Vikings are walking the NFL tightrope, and with two weeks left in the regular season, we'll soon find out which way they fall. 

If they fall to the left, it could mean a top-10 pick in the NFL draft. If they fall to the right, it could mean a trip to Detroit or Philadelphia on Wild Card Weekend. 

Their path to the playoffs is simple: Win out against the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions while the Los Angeles Rams or Seattle Seahawks lose at least one of their final two games. Minnesota's road to the top 10 in the NFL draft is a bit more complicated. 

If the draft were today, the Vikings would have the 15th pick. 

  1. Chicago (from Carolina) 2-13
  2. Arizona 3-12
  3. Washington 4-11
  4. New England 4-11
  5. NY Giants 5-10
  6. LA Chargers 5-10
  7. Tennessee 5-10
  8. Chicago 6-9
  9. NY Jets 6-9
  10. Atlanta 7-8
  11. New Orleans 7-8
  12. Green Bay 7-8
  13. Las Vegas 7-8
  14. Denver 7-8
  15. Minnesota 7-8

If the Vikings lose Sunday night to the Packers while Atlanta, New Orleans and Las Vegas all win, the Vikings will jump to the 10th pick, perhaps even to the ninth pick if the New York Jets beat the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night. 

How realistic is that? Not very. 

Atlanta, New Orleans and Las Vegas are all road underdogs this week. The Denver Broncos are favored at home against the Los Angeles Chargers and Minnesota is a two-point favorite at home against Green Bay. 

But let's live in the hypothetical world where the Vikings lose and all of those teams win. Minnesota would be 7-9 and it would set the stage for the final week of the regular season, with the Vikings simply needing to lose in Detroit to secure a top-10 pick. 

Minnesota owns the head-to-head tiebreaker over Atlanta, New Orleans and Las Vegas, so the key to a pick in the top 10 or near No. 10 is pretty much just losing out and not finishing in a tie with those three teams. 

If it comes down to Week 18, these are the games that will be worth monitoring: 

  • Vikings at Lions
  • Bears at Packers
  • Broncos at Raiders
  • Falcons at Saints

A top-10 pick would be great for Minnesota's chances of drafting a franchise quarterback, but the most fun option for the near future is winning out and wreaking a bit of havoc in the playoffs. 

Vikings fans

Dec 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings fans react during the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium.