The Cleveland Browns are just four weeks and a little bit of luck away from owning the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns are now 0-12 after Sunday’s road loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Cleveland is also the NFL’s lone winless team, and thanks to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s ability to lead his team to multiple field goals, the Browns hold what is likely an insurmountable lead for the No. 1 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Browns would have to split their final four games – home the next to Sundays to the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens, then road games against the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers – and have the New York Giants and 49ers each close out with four consecutive losses to lose out on the top pick.
So, with the first pick pretty much locked up – be real, with head coach Hue Jackson in charge the Browns are not getting to two wins this season – fans can comfortably turn their attention to the Lone Star state, where the Houston Texans are sitting in the No. 8 position in the draft.
The Browns, of course, hold Houston’s first-round pick (as well as the Texans second-round pick) in the upcoming draft, so the fate of the Texans is very much on the mind of the Browns.
Houston closes out the season with games against the 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts.
In a perfect world, Garoppolo leads the 49ers to just enough field goals this Sunday to take down the Texans. The Jaguars and Steelers and both in the playoff race, so they will not be taking the day off against Houston. It is only the season finale, where neither the Texans or Colts will have anything to play for, that looks worrisome.
It is highly unlikely that the 49ers or Giants will catch the Texans, but a Colts win in Week 17 would be a big help, as would a win somewhere along the way from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Browns could further help their cause by dropping their Christmas Eve game to the Chicago Bears.
As it stands, the Browns are going to have two picks among the first 10 selections, and with a little luck the Texans pick could be as high as No. 4 or No. 5, which would make for quite an opening night of the draft.
While you ponder that, Browns fans, let’s take a dive into the weekly NFL power rankings.
The Browns have put in a considerable amount of hard work to get where they are. With a little bit of luck, and the continued mismanagement of Jackson, the Browns are going to be in a prime position come draft weekend.