Race to the bottom: Which teams are contending for the #1 pick in the draft?

It's a Saturday morning and the St. Louis Rams are off this week. With a full day of college football, it's a great time to look at the second half of the NFL season and see who's in contention for the top draft picks. Lots more can happen in 8 more games, and 3k's mock draft generated just as much discussion for his final NFL results as the picks. So, let's take a look at the teams at the bottom of the league and see who could end up with their choice of talent come draft time.

Included here is a look at the average DVOA of each team's remaining opponents and rank of future schedule based on that number from Football Outsiders. We're also looking at individual games of note for each team.

0- and 1- win teams

Team Future Sched Rank
Cleveland -10.5% 27
Tennessee -1.0% 19
Kansas City -4.9% 24
Detroit 5.4% 10
Tampa Bay 14.3% 3
St. Louis 1.6% 15

 

It's not unthinkable that Tampa Bay could be the NFL's second winless team in two seasons. They still have to play New Orleans twice. Their remaining home games are against Green Bay, New Orleans, NY Jets and the Falcons. The weakest team they have remaining on the schedule is Seattle, but they're playing them at Qwest Field. Cleveland has games left against Detroit, Kansas City and Oakland, which should keep them out of contention for the #1 pick. To me, the Titans seem to be getting their act together, so a schedule against average opponents, and a game against the Rams, could net them a few more wins. The Rams have some nice homes games yet to play, and I like their chances against a Seahawks team reeling from injuries. Detroit could struggle too, but you have to think a healthy Stafford and Calvin Johson could do some damage to the Browns. I think KC can squeak out another win or two as well, maybe at home against the Bills and at Oakland.

2-win teams

Team Future Sched Rank
Oakland 3.2% 13
Washington 15.5% 2
Seattle -12.1% 30

 

Don't be surprised is Washington doesn't win any more games this season. They have two more games against the Cowboys and one more each with the Eagles and Giants. Those are just their division games. They also still have to play New Orleans, Denver and Atlanta. Their softest game is at Oakland, but I think the Raiders will likely win that one too. Speaking of the Raiders, they have games left against the Browns and the Chiefs to go with their Washington game. All three of those are toss ups. Seattle should pick up a home win against the Lions this week, and a home game against Tampa Bay should put them at 4 wins and out of top three pick range.

All of this could easily change. An injury here or there or even a fluky bounce could give one of these teams an extra win or two. Right now, I think you'll see Tampa Bay, Detroit, Washington and St. Louis in the top four picks of the draft, in that order. Don't be surprised if the coin flip has something to say about draft order though with so many teams struggling this year.

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