NFL Predictions Week 17: How Top of the Draft Will Look After Final Week

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NFL Predictions Week 17: How Top of the Draft Will Look After Final Week
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Yes, there will be plenty of games this upcoming weekend with playoff berths and positioning on the line. And there will be even more articles predicting how those games will play out.

But not here, folks. Here, we're only concerned with the worst of the worst and the bottom of the barrel. We look at the teams that haven't had anything to look forward to in weeks except for April's draft. Here, we're predicting how the top of the draft will play out.

It's exciting stuff, folks, mostly for draftniks and people brave enough to buy tickets for Jacksonville Jaguars games. Unfortunately, I'm just piling on the Jaguars right now because it will be the Kansas City Chiefs that will have the top overall pick next year.

With the Denver Broncos still jostling for playoff position next weekend, there's little to no chance of the Chiefs beating them. Yes, the Chiefs—a team the misguided Timothy Rapp of Bleacher Report predicted to win the AFC West—will finish 2-14. Ouch.

It won't matter whether or not the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans—and it's possible they will—since the Chiefs will still select first overall if they finish with the same record of the Jags. The Chiefs faced an easier strength of schedule, and thus, "win" the tiebreaker over the Jags.

For the record, draft order when teams are tied in the standings works as follows (from NFL.com):

[Ties] will be broken by strength of schedule (i.e., figuring the aggregate won-lost-tied percentage of each involved club's regular-season opponents and awarding preferential selection order to the club which faced the schedule of teams with the lowest aggregate won-lost-tied percentage).

If ties still exist after applying the strength of schedule tiebreaker, the divisional or conference tiebreakers are applied, if applicable. If the divisional or conference tiebreakers are not applicable, ties will be broken by a coin flip.

So the top two picks are locked. What happens after that?

Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Look at how sad he looks. Poor guy.

Well, since I don't think the Philadelphia Eagles, Detroit Lions or Oakland Raiders will win next week, the next three picks will belong to those teams. The Eagles and Lions won't beat the New York Giants and Chicago Bears, respectively, as those teams are fighting for their playoff lives.

And no, the lowly Raiders won't even be able to beat the San Diego Chargers. I feel for you, Oakland fans.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, for your Raiders will pick third overall, having played an easier schedule than the Eagles and Lions. The Eagles will select fourth and the Lions will come in at No. 5.

After that, it's going to get complicated. Four teams—the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals—will come into the week with 5-10 records. The slumping Bills draw the dysfunctional New York Jets, so the Bills will get the win.

Meanwhile, the Titans get the Jags. Also a win.

The Browns will feel the wrath of the Pittsburgh Steelers after the latter was eliminated from the playoffs, so I'd expect a big Steelers win. That will leave the Browns with the sixth pick since their team will have a worse strength of schedule than the Cardinals.

Arizona draws the San Francisco 49ers, so they'll obviously lose and draw the seventh pick. 

Rich Schultz/Getty Images
At least there is one thing worth watching for Jets fans...

Next up are four teams coming into the week at 6-9. We've already predicted a win for the Chargers, so they're out of the mix. But the Jets will lose to the Bills, putting them in the 6-10 club with the Bills and Titans.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers draw the Atlanta Falcons, who have clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and will likely rest their starters. That should be a win for Tampa Bay. Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers draw the New Orleans Saints. That will be a loss, putting them in the 6-10 club.

Based on strength of schedule, the eighth pick will belong to the Bills. The Jets should come in at No. 9, Carolina at No. 10 and the Titans will round out the group with the eleventh pick.

There you have it, folks: Your top-10 at next year's draft with one bonus selection. I hope you've enjoyed this roundup of mediocrity. 

And may April bring brighter days for your struggling franchise.

 

Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets haven't had a top-10 pick in years.. 

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