The LA Chargers’ spot in the 2021 NFL Draft order will change after Week 17.
The LA Chargers were blown out by the New England Patriots a month ago to move to 3-9 on the season. It seemed like a surefire thing that the Chargers would be finishing with a top-five pick in the draft as we had no reason to suspect the team to turn it around.
Instead, three straight wins have followed the Chargers after that disappointing loss and now, heading into Week 17, the once 3-9 Bolts have a chance to finish 7-9. With most of the Chiefs’ backups playing, there is a good chance that they finish the year with four straight wins.
This has resulted in the team’s draft spot falling significantly in the draft order. The three wins thus far have led to the Chargers falling from fourth to 12th with even more room to fall depending on the results of Week 17.
How far the LA Chargers can fall with a win in Week 17:
There is currently four other teams in the NFL with a 6-9 record as well as a 7-8 record. The Dallas Cowboys have an easier strength of schedule thus far, so they would pick higher than the Chargers with the same record. The 7-8 Raiders have a tougher strength of schedule by a decent margin, meaning that the Chargers cannot leapfrog past them.
Minnesota plays Detroit, San Francisco plays Seattle and New England plays New York. Quite frankly, both Minnesota and New England should win their games, so a Chargers win on Sunday may only result in the team falling one spot to 13. If Minnesota and New England win they could fall to 15th.
Dallas potentially winning the NFC East and the Washington Football Team losing will not impact the Chargers as both the Cowboys and Washington Football Team have an easier strength of schedule.
How high the LA Chargers can climb with a loss in Week 17:
This game means nothing for either side so maybe it is better if the Chargers lose this game. None of the other 6-9 teams will jump ahead of the Chargers with a loss as long as the Chargers also lose.
The Bolts would need both Dallas and Washington to win this week in order to jump past Dallas in the draft order to 11. From there, there are four 5-10 teams that the Chargers could jump ahead of if those 5-10 teams win their games.
We already covered that Detroit plays Minnesota, New York plays Dallas, Carolina plays New Orleans and Denver plays Las Vegas. The Chargers have a worse strength of schedule than all of these teams and as long as Washington beats Philly, the Chargers are guaranteed to jump at least one spot over either Dallas or New York, depending on that result.
Outside of that, though, there are not many winnable games there for those teams. The only games we can really expect to be a possibility is Detroit beating Minnesota and Denver beating Las Vegas.
With that being said, the highest I can realistically see the LA Chargers climbing is to the ninth overall pick. While the lowest realistic spot that they could fall would probably be the 14th pick.