Week 16 of the NFL season is in the books, which means fans can take the time to check out where their favorite team will be picking and then research up on potential prospects they would love to see suit up with their squad of choice.
But the calm will not last long. Rather, this is but a brief period before chaos breaks loose once more in the form of a Week 17 slate that will yet again shuffle the draft order.
Before that happens, let's take a gander at the full 2014 draft order sorted by strength of schedule tiebreakers.
|No.||Official Order After Week 16|
|2||St. Louis Rams (from Washington)|
|6||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|10||New York Giants|
|14||New York Jets|
|15||St. Louis Rams|
|16||Green Bay Packers|
|19||San Diego Chargers|
|24||Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis)|
|26||New Orleans Saints|
|27||San Francisco 49ers|
|28||Kansas City Chiefs|
|29||New England Patriots|
St. Louis Set to Cash In
Look at the St. Louis Rams go.
It feels like eons ago everyone was pointing and laughing at the Rams. At the time it made a bit of sense. Why in the world would the team stick with Sam Bradford as its franchise quarterback when a prospect like Robert Griffin III was on the board?
Now we know.
St. Louis is flirting with a top-10 selection itself, but as it stands now, the No. 2 overall pick also belongs to the Rams—while RGIII has been shut down for the year after a sophomore slump. But it does not stop there. As CBS Sports' Dane Brugler illustrates, the Rams are very much in the running for the top pick:
Suffice to say, this has worked out perfectly for the Rams. Now, the team gets a top-five prospect to pair with Bradford when he comes back from injury next year.
That, or the Rams can trade down again and get another ransom while they build around Bradford even more. The possibilities are exciting.
Jacksonville Not Quite Out of the Running
There was some faint criticism leveled at Gus Bradley and the Jacksonville Jaguars after the team won four of five in the middle of the season to lose its grip on the No. 1 overall pick and a surefire shot at a potential franchise quarterback (every set of fans has those fans).
Right, how dare Bradley and the Jaguars attempt to win games? Those complainers will be happy to know Jacksonville has now lost two straight, and while they will not get their hands on the top pick again, they can finish as high as No. 2, anyway.
That is a very valuable selection to have for a franchise surely sick of seeing Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne under center. Teddy Bridgewater may be off the board, but names such as Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Johnny Manziel and other yet-to-be-known high picks will be around.
Choices are a good thing, and Jacksonville winning a few games midseason has opened the door for the Jaguars to take a long, hard look at the potential routes the franchise could take. Of course, more choices equal more potential mistakes.
Alas, the Jaguars play the Indianapolis Colts for the second time this year to end the season. The first meeting was in Week 4, where the Colts won big, 37-3. Jacksonville is better now and can pull off the upset, but either way, the Jaguars will not do much harm to their position at this point.
Can Houston Tank Once More?
The NFL may want to consider an investigation into the franchise in Houston, because the Texans have now lost 13 straight in their quest for the No. 1 pick.
At least, it appears Houston has thrown in the towel.
There is an argument to be made that the Texans have fought in each game, but clearly the franchise is on a collision course with a new franchise quarterback next year. But loss No. 13 came in the form of a 37-13 rout at the hands of Denver, which caused interim head coach Wade Phillips to at least partially blame injuries, as he told the media, per the team's official website:
You have to go with what you have. We’re in that situation where we have a lot of injuries, especially in certain positions. If you don’t have enough of those guys you have to play somebody else, in some other combination.
In order to lose its 14th straight and pick No. 1 overall for the third time since entering the league in 2002, Houston will have to drop a game to Tennessee, a team it beat back in Week 2, 30-24 in overtime.
Time will tell if the Texans come out flat or with some fight, but the long, hurtful journey that was the 2013-14 season will come to an end regardless and tell faithful fans exactly where the Texans will pick. If recent trends continue, it will be No. 1 overall.