The San Francisco 49ers 2018 season turned into a disaster starting with Jimmy Garoppolo’s torn ACL. The team’s hopeful franchise quarterback is done for the year, C.J. Beathard is taking his lumps, the team is losing more players to injury, and everything on both sides of the ball is a whole lot of inconsistent.
The one upside to everything? The 49ers are staring at a high first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Football Outsiders released their latest look at playoff and draft odds, and the 49ers have moved to the top of the leaderboard for the top pick in the draft. They have a 19.0 percent chance of claiming the top pick, and a 58.6 percent chance of claiming a top five pick. The Arizona Cardinals have the second highest odds for the top pick (16.9 percent), while the Buffalo Bills have the second highest odds for a top five pick (57.6 percent).
A week ago, the 49ers had the third best odds, at 9.9 percent. When you lose to the winless Arizona Cardinals at home, your draft odds are going to improve considerably. Things don’t get easier anytime soon. They travel to the Green Bay Packers, host the Los Angeles Rams, travel to face the Cardinals, then host the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants before their Week 11 bye.
Previously, that Cardinals, Raiders, Giants stretch seemed like a decent shot at a 3-0 stretch. Now, all bets are off. I think the 49ers come out of that stretch 2-1, but after Sunday’s loss, who knows what might happen. Can anybody say with any confidence that the team will win any of their remaining games? I think they’ll beat the Raiders and Giants, and grab one or two other wins, but I can’t say I’m particularly confident about that prediction. There will be some competitive games the rest of the way, but which ones they are is not something I am comfortable predicting.
So, as bad as things are, I suppose there is some excitement to be had in considering what the team could do with a top five pick — or maybe even the top pick in the draft.