CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The NFL Draft is pretty much the only weekend Browns fans look forward to because it’s where optimism reigns supreme.
If the NFL Draft were to be held today, the Browns would pick first and fifth, but in April 2018, Cleveland could have the mother-load of picks and possess the top 2 selections thanks to the trade down from No. 12 with Houston last April.
Let’s start with the Browns’ pick.
Cleveland can clinch the No. 1 selection in the draft for a second straight year with a loss at Chicago or a New York Giants win at Arizona this weekend. Because the Giants already have 2 wins under their belt, the Browns can win 1 of their final 2 games and still land the top spot in every round of the upcoming draft.
Now to that Texans pick.
First, the Browns need Houston to lose their final 2 games against the Steelers and then at Indianapolis to finish 4-12 to have any chance at getting the second pick.
Second, those aforementioned Giants need to win their last 2 games at Arizona and at home against Washington to also finish 4-12.
Third, Indianapolis needs to beat the Ravens in Baltimore and then take down the Texans in week 17 to finish 5-11.
Chicago (.582 opponent win percentage), Tampa Bay (.541) and San Francisco (.485) could still also finish the season 4-12, but the strength of schedule tiebreaker, which is the first 1 on the list, could potentially to give the Texans the edge with the weakest schedule and slot them in front of the Bears, 49ers and Buccaneers for the No. 2 pick.
Even though Houston’s opponent win percentage is currently .505, San Francisco will finish their season against the 10-win Rams and Jaguars which could make their strength of schedule better than the Texans’.
The Colts are the last team to own the top 2 picks in a draft in 1992 – and like the Browns – that No. 2 overall pick was the result of a previous trade.
The 0-14 Browns are trying to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to go 0-16 in a season.