Who Are the NFL’s Worst Teams? Ranking 10 Contenders for 2025 No. 1 Pick

Which teams could end up with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2025 NFL Draft? Ranking the top 10 candidates to finish with the league's worst record this season.

The middle of May is the most optimistic time on the NFL calendar. With free agency and the 2024 NFL Draft in the books, every team in the league can see a path to success as OTAs begin.

Of course, some clubs will inevitably fail in 2024. Injuries, ineffectiveness, poor decisions, and bad luck will affect some teams more than others, and one organization will end up with the NFL’s worst record.

While finishing at the bottom of the standings isn’t ideal, that club will be rewarded with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2025 NFL Draft.

Which teams could be the league’s worst in 2024? Here are the top 10 contenders to earn the No. 1 choice in next year’s draft.

Which NFL Team Will Land the No. 1 Overall Pick in 2025?

10) New Orleans Saints

2024 win total: 7.5

Why Saints could land No. 1 pick in 2025: New Orleans’ roster doesn’t have many genuine weaknesses, but it doesn’t have a ton of strengths, either. The Saints ranked in the middle of the pack in offensive and defensive DVOA and couldn’t add much impact talent in free agency due to their salary-cap constraints.

Head coach Dennis Allen probably has to make the playoffs to save his job. Could that pressure filter down to the entire team? Quarterback Derek Carr offers limited upside, and New Orleans no longer has a veteran backup. If Carr suffers more injuries and Jake Haener or Spencer Rattler are forced to start multiple games under center, the Saints could quickly collapse.

What would New Orleans draft? A franchise quarterback. While the 2025 QB draft class may not be as enticing as this year’s crop, the Saints would have to take a shot on a young signal-caller if they finished with the league’s worst record. New Orleans could save $30 million in cap space by making Carr a post-June 1 cut next offseason.

9) Los Angeles Chargers

2024 win total: 8.5

Why Chargers could land No. 1 pick in 2025: Head coach and quarterback are the two most critical roles in an NFL hierarchy. In Jim Harbaugh and Justin Herbert, the Chargers more than have those two bases covered.

But the rest of Los Angeles’ roster leaves much to be desired. Pro Football Network recently ranked every NFL roster while excluding QBs, and the Chargers finished 30th. Herbert has few weapons to work with after the offseason departures of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, while the Bolts have holes all over their defense.

What would Los Angeles draft? The best available prospect at a premium position. The Chargers don’t need a quarterback or an offensive tackle, but they could consider players like WR Luther Burden III (Missouri), EDGEs Abdul Carter (Penn State) or James Pearce Jr. (Tennessee), or DT Deone Walker (Kentucky) at the top of the draft. Trading out of No. 1 and acquiring a package of future draft capital might also interest Harbaugh and Co.

8) Tennessee Titans

2024 win total: 6.5

Why Titans could land No. 1 pick in 2025: The Titans and first-year head coach Brian Callahan are giving second-year QB Will Levis every chance to succeed in 2024.

Tennessee was among the most active teams in free agency, signing WRs Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd, RB Tony Pollard, and center Lloyd Cushenberry on offense while adding CBs L’Jarius Sneed (trade) and Chidobe Awuzie on defense. Top-40 rookies JC Latham and T’Vondre Sweat should have roles in the trenches from Day 1.

These new additions should raise the Titans’ floor. However, there’s a chance Levis isn’t the club’s long-term answer. The second-round pick posted a 33.6 QBR in 2023, which would have ranked second worst in the league if he’d posted enough attempts to qualify. Levis’ 4.5% turnover-worthy play rate was third-worst, per PFF.

What would Tennessee draft? A new quarterback. Titans general manager Ran Carthon was in the building for the club’s 2023 selection of Levis, but Callahan wasn’t. If the Kentucky product struggles even after Tennessee bolstered nearly everything around him, Callahan will probably want to identify his own passer in 2025.

7) Las Vegas Raiders

2024 win total: 6.5

Why Raiders could land No. 1 pick in 2025: This simply isn’t a very talented roster. Las Vegas came in 25th in our non-QB roster rankings — but the club also has the worst quarterback room in the NFL. Gardner Minshew is a high-end backup but stretched as a starter, while Aidan O’Connell finished 26th in adjusted yards per attempt in his 2023 rookie campaign.

While Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Brock Bowers, and Michael Mayer will give the Raiders’ QBs quality options, the team’s rushing attack may be non-existent. Vegas finished eighth in defensive DVOA last year. Pass rush shouldn’t be a concern, but can the Raiders hold up on the back end?

What would Las Vegas draft? A quarterback. Raiders general manager Tom Telesco struggled during his tenure as the Chargers’ GM, but he nailed his selection of Herbert in 2020. After missing out on the top six QBs in 2024, Las Vegas would have its pick of the litter in 2025.

6) Washington Commanders

2024 win total: 6.5

Why Commanders could land No. 1 pick in 2025: Everything is relative. Although Washington arguably posted the best offseason of any team in the NFC, they were starting from the bottom. Drafting quarterback Jayden Daniels and making incremental improvements everywhere else is laudable, but the Commanders still have plenty of holes.

Washington’s offensive line is patchy and has no true left tackle. Daniels’ non-Terry McLaurin pass catchers are unproven or uninspiring. Dan Quinn should help fix the Commanders’ defense, but the unit lacks a No. 1 EDGE and has questions in the secondary.

What would Washington draft? The best offensive tackle or edge rusher. Unless Daniels is Josh Rosen-level poor in his rookie year, the Commanders won’t move on from the 2023 Heisman winner even if they grab the No. 1 pick in the draft. Improving the trenches with an OT or EDGE — or trading back — would be the better move for Washington.

5) Arizona Cardinals

2024 win total: 6.5

Why Cardinals could land No. 1 pick in 2025: We actually like Arizona to take a step forward in 2024, but Jonathan Gannon’s club undoubtedly has a weak roster, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

The Cards spent money in free agency to bolster their defensive front, but it’s unclear whether career rotational pieces like Bilal Nichols or Justin Jones will make an impact. Cornerback is still an issue even after Arizona signed Sean Murphy-Bunting and drafted second-rounder Max Melton.

What would Arizona draft? It depends on how Kyler Murray performs. After returning from a torn ACL last season, Murray looked comfortable in OC Drew Petzing’s scheme. But Gannon and Petzing might be inclined to draft a new franchise QB if the Cardinals end up with the No. 1 pick.

If Arizona sticks with Murray, it could target just about anything at the top of the draft. General manager Monti Ossenfort has typically stuck with positional value in the early rounds. However, he’s also been more than willing to move around the draft board, so the Cards could trade the first overall choice in this scenario.

4) New York Giants

2024 win total: 6.5

Why Giants could land No. 1 pick in 2025: Head coach Brian Daboll and quarterback Daniel Jones are on thin ice, in hot water — use any metaphor you choose, and these two Giants need to find success in 2024.

Will rookie WR Malik Nabers and an improved OL be enough for Jones to thrive next season? Can New York’s defense step up after finishing 28th in yards per play and 29th in success rate in 2023?

What would New York draft? A new quarterback. The Giants can save $19.4 million in cap space by cutting Jones after this season (and $30 million if he’s a post-June 1 release). He’s a goner unless he offers Pro Bowl-level play in 2024. If New York has the first pick in next year’s draft, Jones probably struggled.

3) New England Patriots

2024 win total: 4.5

Why Patriots could land No. 1 pick in 2025: No one expects much from the post-Bill Belichick Patriots, who are tied for the NFL’s lowest projected win total in 2024. Rookie quarterback Drake Maye will start at some point (if not from Day 1) and work with less-than-stellar weapons.

New England also projects to face the NFL’s hardest schedule, with six matchups against challenging AFC East opponents plus dates with the San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, and Los Angeles Rams. Jerod Mayo and Co. will travel the fourth-most miles of any NFL team in 2024.

What would New England draft? The best WR, OT, or DL. No one will fault Maye if the Patriots bottom out this season. Instead, New England could use the top overall pick to find a new left tackle, add another offensive weapon, or find a game-changing disruptor along the defensive line.

2) Denver Broncos

2024 win total: 5.5

Why Broncos could land No. 1 pick in 2025: Any team starting a rookie quarterback has a chance to struggle, and new Broncos QB Bo Nix was almost universally rated as the sixth best of the six passers drafted in Round 1. Some of 2024’s first-round quarterbacks are bound to fail, and Nix probably has the best odds of busting.

Denver has every reason to be excited. Nix should be a schematic fit for Sean Payton’s offense, while the Broncos’ above-average offensive line should keep him upright. But we have enough questions about Denver’s offensive weapons and defensive depth chart to think Payton could be picking No. 1 in 2025.

What would Denver draft? Non-QB premium position. It’s hard to imagine that Payton would move on from his hand-picked quarterback after only one season. Even if Nix doesn’t produce in 2025, the Broncos would probably go after an offensive tackle or pass rusher or trade the No. 1 pick.

1) Carolina Panthers

2024 win total: 4.5

Why Panthers could land No. 1 pick in 2025: Carolina is doing everything possible to support 2023 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young.

New head coach and play-caller Dave Canales has revitalized other quarterbacks like Geno Smith and Baker Mayfield. Running back Jonathon Brooks and wide receivers Diontae Johnson and Xavier Legette bolster Young’s weaponry. Carolina spent heavily on free agent guards Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis, securing the interior pocket in front of the 5’10” Young.

It’s all on Young’s shoulders now, and it’s fair to ask whether the 2021 Heisman winner can succeed in the NFL.

Last season, Young’s 33.4 QBR was second worst in the league, ahead of only Zach Wilson. He ranked dead last with 3.68 adjusted net yards (ANY/A) per attempt. Since 2000, only three first-round quarterbacks have posted worse Year 1 ANY/A marks. One was Matthew Stafford (2009), but the other two were Josh Rosen (2018) and David Carr (2002).

What would Carolina draft? A new quarterback. The Panthers should have had the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft, but they sent that choice to the Chicago Bears while moving up for Young in 2023. If Carolina ends up with the first overall choice again in 2025, it will have to move on from Young and reset its rookie QB contract timeline.

It’s difficult to imagine a scenario in which Canales and Panthers general manager Dan Morgan would want to retain Young if the club lands the No. 1 selection. If Carolina posts the NFL’s worst record next season, Young will have almost certainly struggled. Teams are giving young QBs shorter leashes than ever. Canales and Morgan didn’t draft Young, so they won’t have any qualms about drafting his replacement.

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