Following Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos, coupled with wins by the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants, the Detroit Lions have now moved up to No. 3 in the 2020 NFL Draft order.
If the Lions figure out a way to lose in Week 17 to the Green Bay Packers, and the Washington Redskins defeat the Dallas Cowboys, the Lions would earn the No. 2 pick in the draft, which likely would mean a shot at Ohio State DE Chase Young.
But the Lions are playing for more than the No. 2 pick in the draft, as they are currently in the driver’s seat to earn a Senior Bowl coaching spot.
The Senior Bowl, which features college seniors (duh) who are trying to improve their draft stock, generally takes the coaching staff from each of the NFL’s worst two teams and allows them to coach throughout the week and in the game.
Though the Redskins are currently in the No. 2 position, they are not eligible to coach at the Senior Bowl because they hired a new head coach.
Coaching in the Senior Bowl allows the worst teams in the NFL the advantage of seeing the players up close as they prepare for the draft.
So, even if the Lions were to lose against the Packers and the Redskins were to lose to the Cowboys, the Lions would get the Senior Bowl nod. But if the Lions were to beat the Packers, they could lose ground in terms of draft position and in terms of coaching in the Senior Bowl.
That being said, teams are allowed to decline to coach in the Senior Bowl if they wish.