Titans In Lead For No. 1 Overall Pick

After multiple reports surfaced yesterday suggesting that a sprained MCL would keep Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota sidelined for the last two games of the season, head coach Mike Mularkey told the media that he hadn’t ruled out the rookie signal-caller for Week 17 yet, suggesting that Mariota will be re-evaluated next week.

That may be true, but it’s also true that’s it’s probably in the Titans’ best interests to shut down Mariota for the year. If Tennessee loses its final two games, the team will almost certainly land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft, and adding another marquee prospect to complement 2015’s second overall pick would significantly benefit the franchise in the long term.

While the Titans are currently in the driver’s seat for that first overall pick, the “race” isn’t over yet. Like Tennessee, the Browns also have a 3-11 record, and with the red-hot Chiefs and Steelers left on the schedule, Cleveland probably won’t win again this season. So a Titans victory against the division-rivals Texans or Colts would open the door for the Browns to snag the first overall pick.

Courtesy of NFL.com, here’s the current projected order for the top 10 picks of 2016, with two weeks left in the regular season. Teams are sorted by worst record, with strength of schedule serving as the tiebreaker — the weaker a team’s schedule, the higher its draft pick.

  1. Tennessee Titans: 3-11 (.490)
  2. Cleveland Browns: 3-11 (.520)
  3. Baltimore Ravens: 4-10 (.490)
  4. San Diego Chargers: 4-10 (.510)
  5. Dallas Cowboys: 4-10 (.551)
  6. San Francisco 49ers: 4-10 (.571)
  7. Miami Dolphins: 5-9 (.449)
  8. Jacksonville Jaguars: 5-9 (.469)
  9. New Orleans Saints: 5-9 (.526)
  10. Chicago Bears: 5-9 (.561)
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7 comments on “Titans In Lead For No. 1 Overall Pick

  1. aarongill

    Can you do an article looking at the potential cap casualties?

    • Luke Adams

      We’ve discussed cap casualties on a few specific teams so far, right here: link to profootballrumors.com

      We’ll be examining more teams in the coming weeks, and I imagine we’ll have a more general breakdown of potential cap casualties as well.

  2. Why is it “the weaker a team’s schedule, the higher its draft pick.” Seems backwards to me, as a team with a tougher schedule should get a higher pick as they played better teams.

    • dorfmac

      Because if they have an equal schedule but they lost to worse teams, the assumption can be made that they are the lesser team and deserve higher pick.

      I see what you mean about a team “earning” the tiebreaker, but using that mentality you could argue that the panthers deserve the number one pick because they had the best record.

      • Ric Johnson

        The old method was better. Head to head was first as it should be. I think followed my conference records. Then common opponents. I’d love to see the Bears lose out and Miami, N.O. The Jags all win one. Then the 49ers and Chargers win out. Slight chance of it but you never know.

    • Luke Adams

      I don’t disagree with that view, but the thinking is that the worst teams should get the best picks. And a 4-10 team that put up that record against horrible opponents is probably “worse” than a 4-10 team that played a really tough schedule.

      • Ah true, didn’t think of it like that. Thanks!

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