Despite being on a bye week, the Jacksonville Jaguars got their own series of victories during Week 8's Sunday slate of games.
The 1-6 Jaguars may not have hit the field this past weekend, but the results around the league in Week 8 saw the Jaguars catch several breaks as it pertains to draft positioning in 2021.
While there are still nine games left to be played that can cause a seismic shift in draft position, the Jaguars simply look like a team that is bound to win just a handful of games. And in that event, the best thing for the Jaguars would be for the other bottom-tier teams throughout the league to rack up wins, thus improving Jacksonville's chances of earning a top pick.
In Week 8, that is almost precisely what happened. If it wasn't for two teams in New York (or New Jersey, if being technical), the Jaguars would have had an ideal bye week from a wins and losses perspective.
Aside from the New York Jets failing to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs, which was never going to happen, the Jaguars got a Sunday of essentially perfect results. Jacksonville's luck would have turned out even better had the New York Giants held onto their halftime lead against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Instead, the Giants lost due to several Daniel Jones turnovers, helping them hold onto the No. 2 overall draft slot.
When using the season-long strength of schedule figures, as Tankathon does, the Jaguars are currently projected to pick No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. This is the same spot the Jaguars had a week prior since the Jets and Giants both lost, but the Jaguars were able to build themselves some cushioning from the other teams that are near the top pick.
After Week 8, here is how it breaks down:
Atlanta got their second victory
According to Tankathon, the Atlanta Falcons entered Week 8 as the projected No. 4 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, just one spot behind the Jaguars. With the Falcons set to have a new coaching staff and the likelihood of them being in the quarterback market increasing, the Falcons are a serious team to monitor when it comes to Jacksonville's quarterback watch.
Luckily for the Jaguars, Atlanta was able to leave Week 8 with a victory. This gave the Jaguars plenty of much-needed breathing room, as the now 2-6 Falcons won 25-17 against the Carolina Panthers. Tankathon currently has the Falcons projected to pick No. 6 overall as opposed to No. 4, showing the Jaguars now have some built-in cushion against the Falcons as each team potentially tries to find a quarterback of the future. The Falcons and the Giants are likely the teams the Jaguars will have to compete with the most for a future franchise passer, so Atlanta picking up a win was big for the Jaguars.
Minnesota found a way to win vs. Green Bay
Another team that has an uncertain future at quarterback despite their big-money veteran, the Minnesota Vikings entered Sunday with just a single win. Before their game against the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings were projected by Tankathon to pick No. 6 overall. But thanks to a 14-point third quarter and 226 yards and four touchdowns from running back Dalvin Cook, the Vikings were able to pull out their second win of the season. Tankathon now has the Vikings down all the way to No. 10 overall, behind several other quarterback-needy teams and a considerable distance behind the Jaguars. As a result of their 28-22 win, the Vikings slipped down the board a good bit. This could always change over the next nine weeks, but it was a boost for the Jaguars for this week at the least.
Cincinnati outlasted Tennessee
While the Bengals will obviously not select a quarterback at any point in 2021 due to Joe Burrow, the Jaguars still got a boost from the one-win Bengals taking down the Tennessee Titans. Tankathon had the Bengals at pick No. 7 overall before Week 8, but they saw the same exact slip the Vikings had. Their 31-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans moved them down to pick No. 11, per Tankathon, helping the Jaguars isolate themselves at No. 3 overall. While the Jaguars
Los Angeles Rams lost, improving another Jaguars pick
Due to the Los Angeles Rams getting upset 28-17 by the Miami Dolphins, the Jaguars got a bit of a boost in their second first-round pick in April. Acquired via the Jalen Ramsey trade last season, Jacksonville's second first-round selection will likely not involve a quarterback but could see the Jaguars targeting a premier defensive back or offensive lineman. Due to the Rams' loss, Los Angeles' projected draft slot in Tankathon moved from No. 23 to No. 21 as the Rams now hold the No. 7 seed. Each Rams loss helps the Jaguars immensely, so even a minor blip on their 5-3 season is significant.