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Keeping an eye on the Browns’ 2017 draft position: Week 17 rooting guide

San Diego Chargers v Cleveland Browns

Here is your Week 17 NFL rooting guide that would help Cleveland’s chances of finishing with higher draft picks.

Outlook on the Browns’ own pick

The 49ers, Browns, and Jaguars all won last week! It was a Christmas miracle. But by virtue of Cleveland winning, their No. 1 pick is still in jeopardy heading into the final week of the season.

Cleveland is 1-14 and San Francisco is 2-13. The Jaguars are no longer a threat to the No. 1 pick. SOS numbers come from SB Nation.

  • The San Francisco 49ers have a lower SOS (.504) than the Browns (.549). As a reminder, the team with the lower number would get the higher draft pick if the teams finished with the same record. So if both teams finish with the same record, San Francisco will definitely have the first pick over Cleveland.
  • This week, the 49ers are at home against the Seahawks. The 49ers’ only two wins this season came against the Rams. The chances of them beating a Seahawks team that needs a win to potentially get a first-round bye are not very good. Their head coach, Chip Kelly, is about to be fired though, so maybe he’ll pull out all the stops.

Outlook on Eagles & Titans

Last week, the Eagles won against the Giants, while the Titans lost to the Jaguars. Heading into this week:

  • The Titans have an 8-7 record and the No. 16 pick. Cleveland has their second-round pick, which would be around No. 48, which is one spots better than last week. The Titans are at home against the Texans this week. We’re rooting for the Texans to win.
  • The Eagles have a 6-9 record. They currently hold the No. 10 pick and host the Dallas Cowboys this week. Dallas has the No. 1 seed locked up, so should be playing a lot of their reserves, opening the door for Philly to win.
  • The best that the Eagles’ pick can end up being is No. 8 overall. That would pan out if Philly loses, and the Bengals or Panthers win.
  • The worst that the Eagles’ pick can end up being is No. 15 overall. That would pan out if Philly wins, and the Cardinals, Bills, Colts, Vikings, or Saints lose (they fall one spot for each team that loses).

Week 17 Rooting Guide Summary

In a best-case scenario for Cleveland’s draft position, we want the following to happen:

  • San Francisco 49ers defeat Seattle Seahawks (#1a)
  • Dallas Cowboys defeat Philadelphia Eagles (#1b)
  • Cincinnati Bengals defeat Baltimore Ravens (#1b)
  • Carolina Panthers defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers (#1b)
  • Arizona Cardinals defeat Los Angeles Rams (#1b)
  • Buffalo Bills defeat New York Jets (#1b)
  • Indianapolis Colts defeat Jacksonville Jaguars (#1b)
  • Minnesota Vikings defeat Chicago Bears (#1b)
  • New Orleans Saints defeat Atlanta Falcons (#1b)
  • Houston Texans defeat Tennessee Titans (#2)

#1a - Impacts No. 1 overall pick
#1b - Impacts the Browns’ first-round pick from the Eagles
#2 - Impacts the Browns’ second-round pick from the Titans

I won’t say I’m rooting for the Steelers to beat the Browns. However, a loss by Cleveland secures the No. 1 overall pick.