The Cleveland Browns ran their record to 6-8 with a Week 15 win against the Baltimore Ravens. While the AFC North crown is out of reach with three games left and playoff chances are bordering on zero, the team could still end up with a winning record.
The Browns open as a favorite in Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints before finishing the year against the Washington Commanders and Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. A 9-8 mark would be something to build on while a 6-11 record could lead to bigger changes within the organization.
Unfortunately for Cleveland fans, the playoffs are likely out of reach and the team doesn’t have a first-round pick to look forward to. Despite just three games left in the season, a lot is up in the air with the NFL draft order. Only four teams have been eliminated from playoff contention (before Monday Night Football’s result) and 15 teams have between five and seven victories.
For the Browns, they are currently set to select with the 44th pick in the second round with the Houston Texans acquiring the 13th pick in the first round as a part of the Deshaun Watson trade. The 13th selection was also the pick sent to the Texans in 2022.
If we assume that Cleveland is not making the playoffs, then their first selection will be no lower than 50th in the second round. While it is highly unlikely for a variety of reasons, the Browns could finish with a top-five to seven pick (picks 37-39) as well in the second round.
Given their current record and schedule, it is likely Cleveland’s first selection will be slotted between where they currently are, 44, and the 48th pick. Not huge variability but it will be interesting to watch finishing off the season.