The San Francisco 49ers beat the Houston Texans on Sunday, and in doing so they hurt their chances at earning the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. They were already longshots for that pick, but they actually fell a spot as a result of the games.
That’s because the Cleveland Browns fell to 0-13, while the New York Giants fell to 2-11. But what actually pushed them down one spot was the win coupled with the Indianapolis Colts also losing, falling to 3-10 like the 49ers. Indianapolis has a weaker strength of schedule at .490, which is the lowest among all the teams in the bottom four.
In addition to helping the Browns along in their quest for the top pick, the 49ers helped them a different way by beating the Texans. Cleveland possesses Houston’s first-round pick for 2018, so Sunday was a great day for them altogether.
The very bad Denver Broncos halted their massive losing skid on the day, moving to 4-9, currently in line for the fifth pick behind the 49ers.
As noted by Seth Walder of ESPN, the Football Power Index gives the Browns a 99 percent chance of earning the top pick. It also suggests the 49ers will end up with the No. 4 overall pick in 2018, behind the Browns, Giants and Colts, in that order. All of that comes via ESPN, of course.
The Football Power Index projects the order of the upcoming draft by simulating the remainder of the season 10,000 times, taking into account location and even projected strength of schedule numbers, as Walder notes. It’s not the be-all, end-all, but it’s pretty dang accurate.
Here’s the top 10 after Sunday’s game.
1. Cleveland Browns (0-13)
2. New York Giants (2-11)
3. Indianapolis Colts (3-10)
4. San Francisco 49ers (3-10)
5. Denver Broncos (4-9)
6. Houston Texans (4-9, traded to CLE)
7. Chicago Bears (4-9)
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)
9. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8)
10. Washington (5-8)