According to ESPN Stats & Information, the winless Cleveland Browns have the best chance to secure the top pick in the draft — 86.8 percent to be exact. San Francisco has the next best chance at 10 percent.
Based on Cleveland’s remaining schedule, it’s entirely feasible to assume the Browns finish 2016 with an 0-16 record.
The 49ers likely aren’t going to win more than two or three games this season. Maybe the Niners can take advantage of a depleted and underachieving Chicago Bears team in Week 13. The hapless New York Jets come to town a week later, and their season is all but over as well.
Both the Jets and the Bears are in contention for a top-five pick as well. Where these teams finish — and how the Niners fare against them — might have some significant NFL Draft implications next year.
Likely Top-Five Teams in the NFL Draft Order
The 49ers, Browns (0-10), Bears (2-7), Jets (3-7) and Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7) all could be destined for a top-five pick in the upcoming draft.
Jacksonville isn’t on the Niners calendar this year, but their remaining schedule doesn’t exactly guarantee a lot of winnable games. It wouldn’t be a shock to see the Jaguars finish with a 3-13 record or maybe 4-12.
Head-to-head matchups with the Jets and Bears will have implications though.
NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New York Jets. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE
The Niners take on Chicago on the back end of a two-game Bears home stand. And while little has gone right for head coach John Fox this season, wins like the one Chicago had over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 8 could be in the back pocket.
But the Bears will have to do so without wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (suspension) and guard Kyle Long (ankle).
So, for the Bears today: They lose star WR Alshon Jeffery for 4 games & star OL Kyle Long for the season. So many bad injuries this year.
The Jets aren’t exactly in a good position to beat the Niners either. But two of their three wins have come on the road, so look for Week 14 to play a vital role in determining the draft order when New York visits San Francisco.
If the Niners win both these games (and no other), the team would finish with a 3-13 record. And if the Jets lose out — which could happen, based on their schedule — New York would leapfrog San Francisco in the draft order.