The San Francisco 49ers were briefly in possession of the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft thanks to a bye week for the Cleveland Browns in Week 9. Had they lost on Sunday, they would have retained possession of it, but they didn’t — they went out and got a win, which put the Browns back down firmly into first place.
Both the 49ers and New York Giants now have one-win records, but the 49ers, with one more game played and thus a worse win percentage, will hold the second pick for now. They will have their own bye in Week 11, which means if the Giants themselves fall to 1-9, it would come down to strength of schedule.
And right now, the 49ers have a higher strength of schedule, which would give the tiebreaker to the Giants. So after the bye week, it’s likely the 49ers would have the third pick, behind the Giants and Browns.
Fortunately, there are no two-win teams, so it’s getting down to just these three in regards to the top pick. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the only remaining two-win team, but they managed to win on Sunday. Another team, the Oakland Raiders, went from three wins to four, also helping.
The other notable picks for the 49ers are in the second and third round. The 49ers hold the New Orleans Saints pick in the second round and the Chicago Bears pick in the third round. The Saints won impressively at Buffalo and improved to 7-2. They are likely going to the playoffs, so their pick order will depend on how the playoffs go. The Bears lost at home to the Packers to drop to 3-6. They currently hold the No. 8 pick of the first round, and that would rotate with the other 3-6 teams in the third round.
The 49ers will have their bye week, while both the Giants and the Browns draw tough opponents. Cleveland has a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have been far, far better than advertised, and are coming off a win. The Giants will face the Alex Smith-led Kansas City Chiefs, who have at times looked like the best team in the league this season.