Vikings Hold No. 5 Overall Pick in 2021 Draft After Falcons Victory on TNF

The Vikings are in the top five in next year's NFL draft order and could climb even higher with a loss on Sunday.
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If the season ended today, the Minnesota Vikings would have the No. 5 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. They were at No. 6 heading into Week 8, but the Falcons' 25-17 victory over Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers on Thursday Night Football was good news for Vikings fans who are embracing the "tank."

The Falcons are now 2-6, moving them to the No. 7 slot. The Vikings are one of just six remaining teams with one or zero wins. Here's what the current top 12 picks look like, courtesy of Tankathon.

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The No. 5 pick most likely wouldn't be high enough to get one of the top two quarterbacks in Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. However, it would put the Vikings in position to draft a quarterback like Trey Lance or Zach Wilson or to take a premiere non-QB like Penei Sewell, Micah Parsons, or Ja'Marr Chase.

If the Vikings fall to the Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday as expected, they'd move to 1-6 and would climb even higher in the draft order. Both the Texans and Jaguars are on a bye this week and have tougher strengths of schedule than the Vikings, so Minnesota would pass them and move to the No. 3 pick with a loss.

I did a tank watch viewing guide last Sunday for the Vikings' bye week, but it's worth keeping track of the other bad teams every week going forward. If you're looking for the Vikings to have the best possible pick, here's who to root for this week.

  • 0-7 Jets at 6-1 Chiefs (-19.5): Sunday, 12 p.m. central, CBS
  • 1-6 Giants vs. 5-2 Buccaneers (-12): Monday, 7:15 p.m. central, ESPN
  • 1-5-1 Bengals vs. 5-1 Titans (-5.5): Sunday, 12 p.m. central, CBS

The Washington Football Team (2-5) is also on a bye. The Chargers (2-4) and Broncos (2-4) play each other, so someone has to win. Same with the Cowboys (2-5) and Eagles (2-4-1).

I want to make one thing clear: I'm not advocating for cheering against the Vikings. If you're a Vikings fan, you should be rooting like crazy for them to beat the Packers every single time. But in the likely event that they do lose, you'll be able to take solace in the fact that Minnesota will hold the No. 3 pick in the draft heading into Week 9.

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