Happy New Years! The NFL wraps up the 2016 regular season today with all 32 teams in action. There’s no Thursday Night Football, no Monday Night Football. All 16 games take place today, and by the end the day, we’ll know the playoff seeding and the draft order (barring ties in SOS).
There is plenty to discuss following the Adam Schefter report that the 49ers are expected to fire Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke. However, there is also draft pick order to consider! The 49ers have one last chance at the No. 1 pick on Sunday.
The Cleveland Browns finally got off the schneid, beating the San Diego Chargers. The San Francisco 49ers could not take advantage of that as they beat the Los Angeles Rams. They remain a game back of Cleveland heading into Week 17, and a game ahead of the Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars.
There are plenty of fun matchups in Week 17, but really this weekend comes down to the Browns. Cleveland travels to face Pittsburgh, while the 49ers host Seattle. If the Browns win and the 49ers lose, the 49ers will claim the No. 1 pick. If the Browns lose or the 49ers win, the 49ers will hold the No. 2 pick.
Here is a look at the top five in draft order, along with their current strength of schedule (SOS), via Scott Carasik:
1. Cleveland Browns (1-14, .548)
2. San Francisco 49ers (2-13, .504)
3. Chicago Bears (3-12, .519)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12, .529)
5. Los Angeles Rams (4-11, .500)
The 49ers are mathematically locked into no worse than the second pick. If the 49ers win and the Bears and Jaguars lose, the tiebreaker is strength of schedule. Each team’s schedule includes 12 teams (divisional opponents counted twice) that zero out. They then have the divisional opponent each team faces in Week 17, and two opponents independent of each other. If the 49ers were to win and the Bears and Jaguars lose, the 49ers SOS gets a boost from two Seahawks losses, as well as a Bears loss. The 49ers would remain no worse than No. 2.
There are a couple other games potentially of note. The 49ers hold the Denver Broncos sixth round pick from the Vernon Davis trade. We’ll be rooting for the Oakland Raiders to beat the Broncos. The 49ers should still hold the Cleveland Browns seventh round pick from the Andy Lee trade. Obviously we prefer the Browns win. Finally, the 49ers might hold Washington’s fifth round pick from the Derek Carrier trade. If they hold that pick, we’ll be rooting for the Giants to beat Washington.
Fooch’s update: Forgot about this, so go Jaguars and Bears!