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NFL Draft order 2016: Here's how the 49ers can climb as high as No. 4 in Week 16

The San Francisco 49ers can climb at least a couple spots in 2016 NFL Draft order, and position themselves well for a further climb in Week 17. Here's how that can happen.

The 2015 NFL season has two Sundays left, and the draft order still remains up in the air. Two teams are tied at 3-11, one team is 4-11, three teams are 4-10, and five more teams are 5-9. The Cleveland Browns and Tennessee Titans stand a good chance of losing out to claim the top two picks, but a win here or there could shake things up in the middle of the top ten.

The San Francisco 49ers are currently situated at the sixth overall position. They have the strongest strength of schedule, which leaves them behind the other 4-10 teams. They have winnable games each of the final two weeks, but enough craziness has happened that they could end up virtually anywhere in the top 10-to-15 picks. Strength of schedule appears likely to play a significant role in shaking out the top 18 or 19 picks.

The Philadelphia Eagles host Washington later tonight on Saturday Night Football. Both teams are well behind the 49ers in draft order, with the NFC East still on the line for them. While they won't jump ahead of the 49ers, they will impact strength of schedule. Of the teams at 4-10 or worse, the Dallas Cowboys are the only team to face both Philadelphia and Washington. Since they face both teams twice, they will get two wins and two losses out of this, assuming it does not finish in a tie. That will drop their SOS from .540 to .539. The 49ers will be at .549 after this game, and the Baltimore Ravens (one spot ahead of Dallas) will be at .518. Root for whomever you want in this one.

Here's how the top of the draft order looks like leading up to the 49ers:

1. Tennessee Titans (3-11) - .489
2. Cleveland Browns (3-11) - .535
3. San Diego Chargers (4-11) - .522
4. Baltimore Ravens (4-10) - .518
5. Dallas Cowboys (4-10) - .540
6. San Francisco 49ers (4-10) - .549

Here is the full Week 16 schedule, with how each game impacts strength of schedule:

Washington (7-7) @ Philadelphia Eagles (6-8): detailed above

New England Patriots (12-2) @ New York Jets (9-5): They both played the Titans and Cowboys, while the Jets also played the Browns. A Jets win would boost the Browns SOS a little bit. The Browns probably will lose out, but if they can swing an upset of the Chiefs, maybe they can get that SOS a little higher. Rooting interest: Jets

Houston Texans (7-7) @ Tennessee Titans (3-11): A win gets the Titans to four wins, and tied with the 49ers (assuming a 49ers loss to Detroit). The Titans have played Cleveland, so a win also increases the Browns SOS. I doubt the Titans win two straight, and I would not be surprised if they've already mathematically clinched a worse SOS than the 49ers, but we can always hope. And Cleveland is a mor realistic shot for overtaking SOS. Rooting interest: Titans

Cleveland Browns (3-11) @ Kansas City Chiefs (9-5): This gets into slightly more complicated math. Both the Browns and Chiefs have played multiple games against 4-10 and 3-11 teams. But, I think the 49ers are close enough in SOS that it is worth hoping the Browns lose, and see their SOS improve with other teams winning. Rooting interest: Browns

Indianapolis Colts (6-8) @ Miami Dolphins (5-9): The Colts played the Tennessee Titans twice, while the Dolphins played the Titans, Ravens, Chargers and Cowboys. A Dolphins win boosts the SOS of those three latter teams, which helps the 49ers. Rooting interest: Dolphins

Dallas Cowboys (4-10) @ Buffalo Bills (6-8): A Cowboys win moves them behind the 49ers (assuming the 49ers lose). You may not want to root for the Cowboys, but it could be worth solid draft position. Rooting interest: Cowboys

Chicago Bears (5-9) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8): The 49ers beat the Bears earlier this year. A Bucs win boosts the Cowboys SOS, but let's not get complicated. We'll take a Bucs win to weaken San Francisco's SOS. Rooting interest: Bucs

Carolina Panthers (14-0) @ Atlanta Falcons (7-7): The 49ers played the Falcons, so a Falcons loss would help weaken San Francisco's strength of schedule. The Cowboys played both teams, so while they get help from a Falcons loss, they also get hurt by a Panthers win, so that's a plus. Rooting interest: Panthers

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) @ Baltimore Ravens (4-10): This is an easy one. A Ravens loss bumps them back of the 49ers (assuming a 49ers loss). Rooting interest: Ravens

Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9) @ New Orleans Saints (5-9): The math gets a little complicated here. The Saints played the Cowboys and Titans, while the Jaguars played the Titans twice, and the Ravens and Chargers once each. I'm rooting for the Jaguars as the Cowboys SOS is easiest to overcome, but 49ers benefit either way with this one. Rooting interest: Jaguars

St. Louis Rams (6-8) @ Seattle Seahawks (9-5): The 49ers get two wins and two losses out of this either way (barring a tie). The Rams and 49ers can both still finish 6-10, and the Rams currently have a weaker SOS. I'm down for rooting for a Rams upset. Rooting interest: Rams

Green Bay Packers (10-4) @ Arizona Cardinals (12-2): The 49ers played the Packers once, and the Cardinals twice. This means that every Cardinals win counts as two wins in determining strength of schedule, and a loss counts as two losses, while a Packers win or loss is only worth one. We want more losses on the 49ers SOS! Rooting interest: Packers

New York Giants (6-8) @ Minnesota Vikings (9-5): The 49ers played both teams, so they get a win and a loss no matter how this shakes out (barring a tie). The Cowboys played the Vikings once, and the Giants twice, so a Giants win adds two wins to the Cowboys strength of schedule. Rooting interest: Giants

Cincinnati Bengals (11-3) @ Denver Broncos (10-4): This is another one that could swing several things. The 49ers played the Bengals, so a Cincinnati loss helps weaken San Francisco's SOS. A Broncos win would strengthen the Chargers SOS, as well as that of the Browns. Count me in! Rooting interest: Broncos

I ran the numbers on this optimal situation, and it would certainly make things very intriguing heading into Week 17. The results above require a lot of upsets, so I am not holding my breath. But tentatively, if they happen as I list, the draft order would look as follows heading into Week 17:

1. Tennessee Titans (4-11) - .488
2. San Diego Chargers (4-11) - .523
3. Cleveland Browns (4-11) - .531
4. San Francisco 49ers (4-11) - .540
5. Baltimore Ravens (5-10) - .515
6. New Orleans Saints (5-10) - .519
7. Chicago Bears (5-10) - .540
8. Dallas Cowboys (5-10) - .542