The San Francisco 49ers dropped to 2-6 last week with their loss to the St. Louis Rams, and naturally that boosted their chances of earning the top pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The 49ers currently hold the No. 6 pick, and there will be opportunities to improve upon that in the coming weeks.
There are various sites providing odds and projections for the 2016 NFL Draft order. They all use different mechanisms to make their projections. While it is unlikely any of them is a perfect projection, they provide some ideas of how people see this season finishing up.
First up is Football Outsiders. They released their latest playoff and draft odds, and the 49ers project well. FO gives the 49ers 15.6 percent odds of claiming the No. 1 pick, and 46.4 percent odds of claiming a top three pick. The No. 1 pick odds are third, behind the Detroit Lions and Tennessee Titans. The top three pick odds are second behind the Lions.
ESPN has something called the Football Power Index. Brian Burke (formerly of Advanced Football Analytics) helped create it. Adam Schefter tweeted this out. I can't find a link on ESPN for this information, so make of it what you will.
By naming Blaine Gabbert starter, 49ers costing themselves 1 win this year, per FPI; now have best chance (30%) to claim No. 1 pick in draft— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2015
Whatever the process behind these projections, it is not exactly difficult to project the 49ers to one of the top picks in the draft. At 2-6 and replacing Colin Kaepernick with Blaine Gabbert, the 49ers face a whole lot of issues over the final eight games of the season. Their schedule gets easier over the second half of the season, but this 49ers squad is pretty bad.