Week 16 games that will determine top of 2018 NFL Draft order

As the best NFL clubs compete in the December scramble for playoff position, the clubs outside of the postseason picture are sorting themselves out for the best picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. Here's a look at five Week 16 games that will help determine the top of next year's draft order.

Records:Browns: 0-14; Bears: 4-10
Where they stand: Cleveland can clinch the No. 1 pick of the draft with a loss or a tie against the Bears. Chicago -- losers of six of its last seven -- represents a strong opportunity for the Browns to finally crack the win column. If the Browns win, a Giants win or tie vs. the Cardinals on Sunday would give the Browns the No. 1 pick, as well. The Bears are currently holding the seventh overall pick, but a top-five pick is still a possibility for them.
Looking ahead: If Cleveland doesn't clinch the top pick in Week 16, it will leave some drama for Week 17 when it comes to the top of the draft order. The Browns will be on the road against the Steelers (11-3) to finish the season, and Pittsburgh, which has clinched the AFC North title, might be resting its starters at that point.

Records:Giants: 2-12; Cardinals: 6-8
Where they stand:The Giants and Browns are the only teams still alive in the race for the No. 1 pick. The Giants currently hold the No. 2 overall pick of the draft. The only scenario in which the Giants get the top pick requires two Cleveland wins to finish the year, plus two Giants losses, plus a turnaround in the strength-of-schedule tiebreaker advantage (Cleveland currently leads .510 to .541).
Looking ahead: New York closes the season against the Redskins (6-8). If the Giants beat Arizona this week, a loss to Washington would assure them of no worse than the No. 3 overall pick.

Records:Colts: 3-11; Ravens: 8-6
Where they stand:San Francisco's three-game win streak has helped put the Colts in sole possession of the No. 3 overall draft pick entering Week 16. With a gaggle of 4-10 teams ahead of them in the standings, an Indianapolis win over Baltimore could make the Colts' draft position much more uncertain. The Colts have been eliminated from contention for the No. 1 pick, but a loss to Baltimore would keep the door ajar for the No. 2 selection.
Looking ahead: Indianapolis draws the 4-10 Texans in the final week of the season. That game will affect not only the Colts' draft position, but the Browns' as well -- Cleveland acquired the Texans' first-round pick in Houston's trade to draft Deshaun Watson earlier this year.

UPDATE: The Ravens defeated the Colts, 23-16, on Saturday.

Records:Jaguars: 10-4; 49ers: 4-10
Where they stand: The red-hot 49ers, winners of three consecutive games, are currently holding the fourth overall pick, but with three other teams also sitting at 4-10, a fourth straight win could swing San Francisco several spots lower on the board. A loss to Jacksonville would keep the 49ers in play for a top-five pick. The Jaguars have already clinched a playoff spot.
Looking ahead: San Francisco closes out the season by visiting the Rams (10-4), who could be battling for playoff positioning in Week 17. The Rams have not yet clinched a playoff spot.

Records:Steelers: 11-3; Texans: 4-10
Where they stand: Apart from their own top pick, the Browns will also be hoping for a Steelers win over Houston this week, as the Browns hold the Texans' first-round pick (acquired in the trade to pick Deshaun Watson in the 2017 draft). Currently, Houston is knotted in a four-way tie for the NFL's fourth-worst record. As such, Cleveland's extra first-rounder is a long way from being settled, and will depend not only on how the Texans finish but on how the league's other 4-10 teams (San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Chicago) finish as well.
Looking ahead: The Texans will visit the Colts in the season finale for both teams, and there figures to be positioning within the top five picks on the line.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter *@ChaseGoodbread*.

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