We’re a long, long ways away from the end of the 2018 season, but given how the San Francisco 49ers are out of lives and continues, it’s time to look at the rest of the NFL. Yep, it’s time to put together a rooting guide once again for interests of draft order.
Sure, we could put one together for playoff positioning, but folks, a 1-4 team decimated by injuries just isn’t going to make it there. The 49ers right now share a single win with the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, and Arizona Cardinals. If the 49ers continue this trend of losing, they could be in line for a top-5 pick in 2019, possibly the first pick unless the New York Giants have something to say about it.
The Giants got things going on Thursday with their 34-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. They dropped to 1-5, and Saquon Barkley is about the only thing that might give them a shot at winning some more games. The 49ers host the Giants in Week 10 on Monday Night Football, in what could be a huge matchup for draft pick implications.
The Raiders face off against the Seattle Seahawks in a London game. I have no problem rooting for the Raiders against the Seahawks, especially when draft positioning is on the line. I do think the Raiders can win this game as well, but Seattle is Seattle, and they may have run out of leprechauns to channel that luck.
The Colts go up against the New York Jets, who have their own hot and cold rookie quarterback. Given that it’s in New York and the Colts have their issues, I do think the Jets may win, but I wouldn’t put my money on it.
The Atlanta Falcons go up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a divisional matchup. The Falcons are much better than their record indicates and the Bucs have hit their own skid with the disappearance of FitzMagic. Now they have Jameis Winston under center. The 49ers will get a chance to battle for draft positioning with the Buccaneers as well later in the season.
Finally, the Arizona Cardinals have the Minnesota Vikings. As much of a kick in the gut a Cardinals win would be, it at least would help the 49ers’ draft positioning. The Vikings have shown a great deal of chinks in the armor and are not the force they were last year. They are still a decent team, but not what I expected this year.
Below are the games you should care about:
Buccaneers (2-2) at Falcons (1-4): Falcons — The 49ers will get a chance to get beat by the Buccaneers later in the season and the Falcons need to not be messing with any high-picks. Easy pick.
Colts (1-4) at Jets (2-3): Colts — This one isn’t so concerning as both teams have plenty of opportunities to get wins through the season. Much like the Falcons, the Colts need some wins to return to .500 hell.
Cardinals (1-4) at Vikings (2-2-1): Cardinals — I feel so dirty.
Seahawks (2-3) at Raiders (1-4): Raiders — The 49ers will get their chance to get beat by both of them later in the season. The Raiders need to win a few games to get out of a head to head competition. Jon Gruden doesn’t deserve a No. 1 pick.
Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) vs. Cleveland Browns (2-2-1): Browns — The Browns have a much better record than the 49ers. That’s disgusting. In any case, they always seem to show up uninvited to the high pick draft party that the 49ers have and ruin everything, so they should be getting another win or two. It also would help the strength of schedule considering the 49ers lost to the Chargers earlier.