View from the Front Office, Week 13: Winning in the NFL is more important than draft positioning

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) celebrates after defeating the Baltimore Ravens at Hard Rock Stadium
Photo of Jim Monos

Jim Monos

NFL· 1 month ago

Show Bio

After working 17 years in the NFL as an area scout (Philadelphia and New Orleans) and Director of Player Personnel (Buffalo), I am now back to my true passion that started in high school – using statistics and unique insights to find value.

It is not uncommon to hear some fans say they would rather see their team lose than win so they can have a better draft position once the playoffs are not an option. Having worked for teams when the playoffs were out of reach, I can tell you that is not something that any coach would entertain.

The “Tanking for Tua” chants during the 2019 season down in Miami were maddening to anyone who worked in the NFL. Every team views college prospects differently and the active players work so hard to win and play at a high level to keep cashing paychecks, that losing is not an option for professionals. The Bengals proved that in the 2020 draft by taking QB Joe Burrow with the first overall pick, showing that there was not a consensus in the league that Tagovaiola was going to be the top selection.

In 2005 when I was working for the Saints, the Houston Texans edged us out by one less win to have the first selection in the draft. Sean Payton was hired as the new head coach and Drew Brees was signed to be the starting QB before the 2006 draft. We were convinced the Texans were going to draft Reggie Bush with first pick and that is who we coveted. If Houston did select Bush we were most likely going to draft LB AJ Hawk with the second overall pick because we had already invested first-round picks in starting defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith so Mario Williams was not viewed as a need for us. 

The night before the draft it was announced that Houston had begun negotiations with Williams and was going to select him first and the celebrations began in New Orleans as we were able to select Bush. It was proof that we did not need to lose more games than Houston to select the player we wanted and a reminder that every team has a different draft board setup.

When I was working in Buffalo with head coach Rex Ryan we finished 8-8 in 2015 and were selecting 19th in the draft. If we finished 7-9 we could have moved up to the 14th pick. We played the Jets the last game that season and I asked Ryan if winning a meaningless game was more important than a better draft pick. Without hesitation, he said absolutely. Everyone works too hard each week and who even knows if that player you would draft would turn out to be right pick. 

If we would have lost the last game against the Jets to finish 7-9 we would have selected offensive tackle Taylor Decker at 14. With the win, we finished 8-8 and used the 19th pick on defensive end Shaq Lawson. Looking back both Decker and Lawson are good players but neither one would have changed our team. Winning is always better than losing.

Make sure you check out our Pickswise NFL Power Rankings ahead of Week 13!

Coach in the Sauna: McCarthy is feeling the heat

When you have talent, you have high expectations. When you coach the Dallas Cowboys you always have high expectations because owner Jerry Jones is also the general manager and will not be firing himself. Head coach Mike McCarthy is aware and is constantly sitting in the sauna.

This is not the type of firing that would happen during the season. This is only something that would happen if Dallas would lose early in the playoffs but is certainly a possibility. Dallas has lost three of their last four games and are currently fourth in the NFC playoff standings. 

Another big reason McCarthy is currently sweating is the well-known fact that offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is the next head coach in waiting and respected by Jones. Most head coaches can hand select their staff but for McCarthy to become the Cowboys coach he had to retain Moore as his offensive coordinator because Jones sees him as the next head coach. 

McCarthy brought in defensive coordinator Dan Quinn this season so he will not be an option to be a scapegoat. Moore can do no wrong in the eyes of Jones as offensive coordinator. If Dallas were to lose in the first round of the playoffs it would not surprise anyone to see Jones make the switch to Moore or Quinn and quickly move McCarthy from the sauna to the street.

Our Pickswise supercomputer has picked out two great-value futures bets for the rest of the NFL season. Check them out!

Top five QBs from Week 12

  1. Aaron Rodgers (GB) – If MVP was given to the most talented QB in the NFL he would win without any competition this season. Sean McVay looked jealous watching Rodgers.
  2. Mac Jones (NE) – Was efficient and steady the entire game against Tennessee. He continues to show he can do more than just manage a game.
  3. Carson Wentz (IND) – The running game was shut down by Tampa’s defense and Wentz rose to the challenge. He was accurate and tough as the offense became one dimensional. 
  4. Derek Carr (LV) – Let his receivers do work by hitting them in stride. Showed a good balance of deep ball touch and maneuvering in the pocket. 
  5. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) – Played extremely efficient against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Miami is fighting hard to sneak in the playoffs and will need these efforts from him every week.

Bottom five QBs from Week 12

  1. Cam Newton (CAR) – He looked like a QB who has been with the team for two weeks. No rhythm or timing in the passing game. 
  2. Trevor Siemian (NO) – Had opportunities in the first half to keep the Saints in the game and he missed the throws. Did not feel pressure and was not accurate. 
  3. Jalen Hurts (PHI) – Will need to prove he can make throws from the pocket when the running game is not good enough. Love his toughness but he needs to hit targets in stride. 
  4. Lamar Jackson (BAL) – Only he can throw four interceptions and win a game. That type of performance will not work in the playoffs. 
  5. Zach Wilson (NYJ) – Nice win but thank the defense and running game. His lack of quick decisions and accuracy need to improve. 

Jim Monos’ Week 13 picks

Detroit Lions +7 over Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings will be playing their fourth road game in their last five contests. The Vikings defense is ripe for the picking as they rank 24th in points per play and 26th in yards per play. A tired Vikings team will give Detroit their first win of the season, but I’ll take the 7 points just in case. 

Kansas City Chiefs -9.5 over Denver Broncos

Fresh off the bye week Kansas City will be on primetime TV to remind the league and the Broncos who owns the AFC West. The Broncos rank 28th in third down defense going against the Chiefs who are first in the NFL in third down offense. A clean game from Mahomes should lead to a Kansas City double digit victory. 

Read our picks and predictions for every NFL Week 13 matchup

Pickswise is the home of free NFL Picks and NFL Odds. Check out the latest NFL Prop Bets and NFL Parlays as well as expert NFL Underdog Picks and NFL Computer Picks.

See All


Bet $10, Win $200 if either team scores a TD on Championship Weekend!

Bet $10 on the Money Line for any NFL team

Win $200 if either team scores a touchdown in the game

Winnings paid in free bets

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook


Bet $5, Win $150 CASH on any NFL team to win on Championship Weekend!

Sign up for a new account with FanDuel Sportsbook

Bet $5 on any NFL team to win their next playoff game

If your team wins, YOU WIN $150 - in CASH!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at FanDuel Sportsbook.



Bet $5, Win $280 on Any NFL team to Win on Championship Weekend!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account

Bet $5+ any NFL playoff game Money Line

Win $280 in credits if your team wins the game

Must be 21+ located in AZ, CO, CT, IA, IL, IN, MI, NJ, PA, TN, VA, WY or WV to play. Offer valid only for new customers. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.



Bet $20, Get $200 - Regardless of Outcome!

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit $20+.

Bet $20 on any game in any sport!

Win $200 - no matter whether your initial bet won or lost!



Win $200 If ANY NBA Team Makes a 3-Pointer!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NBA game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game makes a 3-pointer

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.



Win $200 If A Goal Is Scored In ANY NHL Game!

Sign up for a new account with BetMGM, and make a deposit of $10+.

Place a $10 moneyline bet on any upcoming NHL game.

Win $200 if either team in your selected game scores a goal

21+ and new players only. Full terms available at BetMGM Sportsbook.

Caesars Sportsbook


Get a $1,001 First Bet Match + A FREE NBA JERSEY!

Register for a new Caesars Sportsbook account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,001

Receive a free bet matching your initial stake up to $1,001 + a FREE NBA JERSEY!

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Get a $250 Deposit Bonus!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make a deposit & get it doubled up to $250 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $100

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF



Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $500 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $500

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.



Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

FanDuel Sportsbook


Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet!

Register for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.



Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

Monkey Knife Fight


Claim 100% Instant Deposit Match up to $100!

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.



Get a $300 Risk-Free Bet with TVG Racebook!

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $300

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.



Get a $400 Risk-Free Bet on the Breeders' Cup!

Register for a new Twinspires account using offer code PICKS400

Place a bet on the Breeders' Cup

Receive a refund if your first bet loses up to $400

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

Yahoo DFS


Get $25 in Site Credit With Yahoo DFS When You Deposit $5!

Register for a new account with Yahoo DFS and deposit $5+

Enter a $5 DFS contest

Upon entry, you will receive a bonus $25 in credit into your account!

21+ and new players only. Full terms available from Yahoo DFS.