The San Francisco 49ers dropped to 0-5 this past week, and their chances at one of the top draft picks continue to solidify. The 49ers are tied with the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants, and a tough upcoming slate of games means they could head into their bye week at or close to winless.
Now that we are five weeks in, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert is back with his draft order projection. ESPN uses their Football Power Index to project records and subsequent draft order. The top five projection currently shakes out as follows:
1. Cleveland Browns
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Chicago Bears
4. Indianapolis Colts
5. New York Giants
The biggest surprise of that is the Giants slipping behind the Bears and Colts. According to Seifert, FPI respects the Giants defense to some degree, and has them favored in five of their remaining 11 games. I’m guessing that includes favored on the road against the 49ers in Week 10.
Here’s what Seifert had to say about the 49ers.
On the bright side, the 49ers have been one of the most competitive 0-5 teams in NFL history. They've lost four consecutive games by three or fewer points, one of only two teams to do so in the Super Bowl era. But their offense isn't inspiring much confidence after scoring 15 or fewer points in three of five games. Per FPI, the 49ers can expect the third-lowest expected points added via their offense this season. In other words, the close losses aren't inspiring much confidence. If it plays out that way, general manager John Lynch will have a chance to snag a quarterback after trading out of the spot used by the Bears to select Mitchell Trubisky.
The 49ers remaining schedule includes some chances at wins, but it could get ugly. Here’s their remaining schedule:
Week 6: @ Washington
Week 7: vs. Dallas Cowboys
Week 8: @ Philadelphia Eagles
Week 9: vs. Arizona Cardinals
Week 10: vs. New York Giants
Week 12: vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 13: @ Chicago Bears
Week 14: @ Houston Texans
Week 15: vs. Tennessee Titans
Week 16: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 17: @ Los Angeles Rams
They are likely going to be underdogs for every remaining game. If the Giants remain winless, that could swing a little bit, but otherwise, there is no reason to favor them the rest of the way. I thought there might be some wins in that back stretch, but that has changed. The Bears have looked a little better than they might otherwise have, and Mitchell Trubisky will have some quality playing time under his belt by the time Week 13 arrives.
That AFC South stretch looked like a chance for some wins, but that’s not so much anymore. Deshaun Watson is looking like the real deal for Houston, the Titans will have Marcus Mariota back barring a future injury, and the Jaguars defense is lights out, to go along with an impressive Leonard Fournette.
How many wins can the 49ers get the rest of the way?