2022 NFL Draft order: Patriots on track for high first-round pick after Week 6 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
More than a third of the 2021 NFL season has been played with all but one of the Week 6 games concluded, and for teams sitting near the bottom of the standings, it's not too early to look toward the draft.
Of course, some of these teams still want to reach the playoffs and make some noise in January. One of those teams is the New England Patriots, who spent big in free agency over the offseason with the hopes of returning to the playoffs following last year's disappointing 7-9 campaign.
Since 1990, only 19 of the 205 teams (9.3 percent) that started a season 2-4 made the playoffs. So, the Patriots have a tough task ahead of them.
What about the draft? Where do the Patriots stand in the first-round draft order after Sunday's results? Here's a look at the updated order of the top 10, via Tankathon:
Detroit Lions, 0-6
Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-5
Miami Dolphins, 1-5 (owed to Eagles)
Houston Texans, 1-5
New York Giants, 1-5
New York Jets, 1-4
New England Patriots, 2-4
Philadelphia Eagles, 2-4
Indianapolis Colts, 2-4 (could convey to Eagles)
Seattle Seahawks, 2-4 (owed to Jets)
The last time the Patriots made a pick in the top seven of the first round was in 2001. They selected University of Georgia defense end Richard Seymour with the No. 6 overall pick, and he had a Hall of Fame-caliber career as a three-time Super Bowl champion in New England.
The last time the Patriots owned a top seven pick was in 2008. They got the No. 7 pick as part of a previous trade, and they ended up trading down to No. 10 and selected linebacker Jerod Mayo, another quality selection.
It's still too early for the Patriots to think about their draft positioning. They are still just one game out of a wild card playoff berth in the AFC. But at some point, if they keep losing, the franchise will need to determine whether a top 10 pick or fighting for the last wild card spot is more important.