The Jacksonville Jaguars are done for this season. They have a lame duck head coach in Gus Bradley intent on starting veterans who may not even be with the team next year over trying out young guys (*cough Julius Thomas cough*) and a current 2-9 record means the team is still mathematically alive for the playoffs but... c’mon.
That means that we’re in familiar territory again this year as we have for the past 10 years: it’s time to start looking towards the 2017 NFL Draft and how the Jaguars can get the highest pick possible.
Current outlook on the Jaguars pick
The Jaguars are currently slated to get the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, according to Adam Stites of SBNation.com. The Cleveland Browns at 0-12 will likely grab the No. 1 overall pick with an 0-12 record and the San Francisco 49ers will likely get the No. 2 overall pick with a 1-10 record. But the Jaguars are tied with the Chicago Bears at 2-9 and with the Jaguars at a slightly tougher strength of schedule (0.534% vs. 0.517%) we’ll lose that tiebreaker.
The New York Jets are in the driver’s seat for the No. 5 overall pick with a 3-8 record, but with the odds looking like the Jaguars won’t win another game this season, the Jaguars won’t likely move any lower than they already are.
So, how do the Jaguars get a higher pick?
Week 13 rooting guide
Well, firstly, you’re rooting for a loss to the Denver Broncos today. That’ll move us to 2-10 and while it’s embarrassing to have double-digit losses for the sixth year in a row, it could be the difference between the No. 4 overall pick and the No. 7 overall pick — or the difference between Ezekiel Elliott and DeForest Buckner.
Next, it’s pretty much a win-win because the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears are playing each other at Soldier Field today. Vegas has moved the line between 2.5 and 3.0 points in favor of the Bears at home, which means they’re giving the Bears their traditional three points at home but they ultimately think this is a fairly even matchup.
If the Bears win, the Jaguars are in sole position of the No. 3 overall pick.
If the 49ers win, they along with the Jaguars and Bears are all 2-10 and tied for the second, third, and fourth overall picks. The Bears would be in sole position of the No. 2 overall pick and then the 49ers move up to the No. 3 overall pick with the Jaguars staying with the No. 4 overall pick. But it’s more favorable to a better pick later in the season as the Jaguars can conceivably lose out and any win by the 49ers or Bears move the Jaguars up to the No. 2 or No. 3 overall pick.
The Browns are on a bye week, so they’re staying in that No. 1 overall pick no matter what happens. And the Jets are playing the Indianapolis Colts at home on Monday, so we’d like to see them win just to put them firmly out of grasp for a top-four pick.
I’m hoping the 49ers win. It puts the Jaguars in a three-way tie for the No. 2 overall pick and I think one of the Bears or 49ers (or both) has a better chance of winning a game the rest of the season than the Jaguars.