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49ers drop to 5th in first round of 2018 draft order

The 49ers keep winning, which means they are slipping down the draft order. And that’s OK!

NFL: 2016 NFL Draft Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers beat the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, improving to 4-10 with their four win in five games. After an 0-9 start, the turnaround has been incredible. They split Week 10 and Week 12 under C.J. Beathard, but have since won three straight since inserting Jimmy Garoppolo into the starting lineup.

Winning games means the 49ers have made a move down the draft board each week. They’ve gone from a favorite to claim the No. 2 spot, to sitting at No. 5. I have absolutely zero problem with that, because we are seeing a football team improving before our eyes. If the 49ers were to win out, or even split their final two games, it would likely be further indication that things are very much moving in the right direction with Jimmy Garoppolo. And I’ll take that over draft position any day of the week.

Heading into Monday Night Football, the draft order looks as follows:

1. Cleveland Browns (0-14, .513)
2. New York Giants (2-12, .529)
3. Indianapolis Colts (3-11, .487)
4. Houston Texans (4-10, .504)
5. San Francisco 49ers (4-10, .513)
6. Chicago Bears (4-10, .559)
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9, .559)
8. Cincinnati Bengals (5-9, .473)
9. Denver Broncos (5-9, .482)
10. New York Jets (5-9, .532)
11. Arizona Cardinals (6-8, .489)
12. Oakland Raiders (6-8, .509)
13. Washington (6-8, .531)
14. Miami Dolphins (6-8, .550)

I went all the way down to six-win teams, because the 49ers can still tie them if they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams these final two weeks. They are tough opponents to close out the season, but it’s hard not to at least be a little optimistic about the 49ers chances.

The tiebreaker for draft order is strength of schedule. The weaker SOS gets the better pick because the idea is that they lost the same amount of games to worse teams, so they are worse. The difference between the Texans’ and 49ers’ SOS is only two games. “Official” draft order only looks at the games already played. The SOS above reflects the Jaguars and Rams records as well. Even though the 49ers have not played them, they will factor into their SOS, so I include them.

Right now, the Texans’ opponents are 113-111, while the 49ers opponents are 115-109. With two weeks remaining, that could easily change. Of course, if the 49ers keep winning, SOS with the Texans might not matter.

Week 16 schedule

Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4) @ San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
Indianapolis Colts (3-11) @ Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
Cleveland Browns (0-14) @ Chicago Bears (4-10)
Detroit Lions (8-6) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-9)
Miami Dolphins (6-8) @ Kansas City Chiefs (8-6)
Los Angeles Chargers (7-7) @ New York Jets (5-9)
Denver Broncos (5-9) @ Washington (6-8)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9) @ Carolina Panthers (10-4)
New York Giants (2-12) @ Arizona Cardinals (6-8)
Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) @ Houston Texans (4-10)
Oakland Raiders (6-8) @ Philadelphia Eagles (12-2)