With two weeks left in the NFL's 2016 regular season, here's a look at which teams are in contention to make the No. 1 pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, and the picks that immediately follow.
First and goal: Cleveland Browns
Remaining opponents:San Diego Chargers, Pittsburgh Steelers.
The skinny: The number of teams still capable of separating the Browns from the No. 1 pick continues to shrink. This week, the Chicago Bears fell out of contention for it, and a Browns Week 16 loss or tie would knock Jacksonville out of the running. But don't lock Cleveland in for the top spot just yet. As of this week, no team has a higher opponents' winning percentage than the Browns (.567). As such, they'll likely lose a strength-of-schedule tiebreaker if they end up with the same record as another club (the team with the lower SOS picks first in the event of a tie). Cleveland's best remaining shot at a win will be this week when it hosts the 5-9 Chargers. If the Browns avoid the embarrassment of joining the 2008 Detroit Lions in 0-16 infamy, they could slip to the No. 2 pick. That's a high price to pay for a one-win season, but that's how things look as of this week. The Browns did secure a top-three pick with their loss to the Bills on Sunday, and they can clinch the No. 1 overall pick in Week 16 with a loss and a 49ers win or tie.
Still in the game: San Francisco 49ers
Remaining opponents:Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks.
The skinny: If the 49ers are to pick No. 1, this had better be the week they make their move. A Browns win over the Chargers and a 49ers loss to the Los Angeles Rams would put San Francisco in good position for the top pick. The 49ers' strength-of-schedule rating (.510) is far enough behind Cleveland's (.567) that a tie with the Browns will likely give San Francisco the top spot (the team with the lower SOS picks first when there's a tie). The 49ers haven't picked No. 1 overall since taking Alex Smith at the top of the 2005 draft, and a quarterback is among the club's draft needs for 2017, as well. While they stayed on Cleveland's heels for the top spot, the Jaguars stayed on theirs for the No. 2 choice.
Bears (3-11):Chicago is out of the running for the No. 1 pick, and the No. 2 pick is looking like a pipedream. As of now, Chicago's SOS rating is .520, which would beat Jacksonville in a tiebreaker for the No. 3 pick.
Jets (4-10):As of this week, the Jets have the No. 5 pick of the draft. The Jets can get no higher than the No. 3 pick, but it's highly unlikely that they'll climb that high. For that to happen, the Jets would have to lose out, the Jaguars would have to win out, the Bears would have to win at least one more game, and the Jets' SOS rating would have to stay lower than both of those teams'. With a SOS rating of .492, the Jets are in a good position to win a tiebreaker if it comes to that.
Titans (8-6):The Titans are in an enviable position. They're simultaneously in the hunt for a playoff spot and a top-five pick, thanks to the trade that gave them the Los Angeles Rams' 2017 first-round choice. The Rams are on a five-game slide, and Tennessee would pick sixth if the season ended today.