What happens to the Cleveland Browns no longer matters for the 4-10 San Francisco 49ers when it comes to NFL Draft order. The Browns haven’t locked down the top pick, as the two-win New York Giants can still take it from them. But they’re out of the 49ers’ range, which means the top pick is as well.
But for San Francisco, everything up to the No. 2 overall pick is still in play, especially with a tough game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Indianapolis Colts lost last night to drop to 3-12. They have an edge on the 49ers in weaker strength of schedule, but it’s not so much that it’s impossible to flip (49ers opponents are 115-109, Colts opponents are 109-115).
Still, this means that every four-, five-, and six-win team is competing with the 49ers for draft positioning over the next two weeks. They could pick as high as No. 2 or outside the top 10. These are the games you should care about on Sunday.
Giants (2-12) at Cardinals (6-8): New York — Rooting for the Giants still doesn’t feel right. But they’re very bad, and the Cardinals aren’t exactly our favorite team around here.
Jaguars (10-4) at 49ers (4-10): Jacksonville — I’m on the Garoppolo train all day, but the Jaguars are a better team anyway. I’ll be rooting for a 49ers win, but a loss wouldn’t be the worst thing.
Browns (0-14) at Bears (4-10): Chicago — Hey, we actually do get to talk about the Browns! That’s because they’ll be playing the Bears, another bad team who should go ahead and win, because they also have some similar draft needs to the 49ers.
Broncos (5-9) at Washington (6-8): Denver — I said awhile ago that I thought the Broncos were candidate for the first overall pick. They’re not, anymore, with wins in their last two games. But they remain a threat to lose out with their poor play this season.
Chargers (7-7) at Jets (5-9): New York — That’s right, we’re voting for both New York teams, once again. The Jets are such a weird team that I could see them winning their next two or getting blown out in a big way. Flip a coin.
Falcons (9-5) at Saints (10-4): Atlanta — While this is a hugely important battle in the wild card race, the 49ers still possess New Orleans’ second-round pick in 2018. The Saints haven’t clinched a playoff berth, so their record is still a factor in determining draft order, for now.