How Thursday Night Football vs. Panthers impacts Bears' 2024 draft picks

It's the question every Bears fan has been asking all week: what does the best-case scenario actually look like?

Chicago Bears, 2024 NFL Draft
Chicago Bears, 2024 NFL Draft / JEFF HAYNES/GettyImages
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Thursday night, many NFL fans will be choosing to watch the latest episode of their favorite TV show rather than Amazon's Thursday Night Football between the Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers.


Well, these are two of the three worst teams in the league and they are competing with the Arizona Cardinals for the no. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Who wants to watch that, other than Bears and Panthers fans?

Well, this subject is for exactly those. What happens to the Bears' draft picks after Thursday night? Let's go through all three scenarios, but first we'll check in on the current draft order.

Current 2024 NFL Draft Order (Top 6):

1. Arizona Cardinals (1-8)

2. Chicago Bears via CAR (1-7)

3. Chicago Bears (2-7)

4. New York Giants (2-7)

5. New England Patriots (2-7)

6. Los Angeles Rams (3-6)

If the Bears lose, they flip-flop current positioning with Carolina

For those cheering on the best-case draft scenario, this is the (realistic) result we want to root for. The Bears lose to Carolina, thus the only thing that happens (for now) is Chicago's pick rising to no. 2 and Carolina's falling to no. 3.

From there, if the Giants and Patriots were to lose and fall to 2-8, then Carolina's pick would fall further down due to the fact that the Panthers have played one less game than those two teams. By the end of the year, things will even out, especially with strength of schedule taken into consideration. Currently, Carolina has the weaker schedule.

This sounds like an ideal outcome for Bears fans, right? The Bears lose, but Chicago still gets to pick at two and three in the spring. What about what happens if the Bears were to win their third game of the year?