If the NFL season were to end at this exact moment, the Houston Texans, a team that had Super Bowl aspirations at the onset of the season, would be first in line for the 2014 NFL draft. What a difference a season makes.
Still, the season isn’t over just yet. As we turn towards the final quarter of the schedule, there’s a number of teams that have a real chance at taking the first overall draft pick in 2014. The Texans may lead the list, but the Jaguars, Falcons, Redskins, Buccaneers, Vikings and even the Browns have a chance at snagging the top selection.
After dropping ten straight games, it would be easy to say the Texans are the NFL’s worst team and drop it at that. After all, they were beat by the Jacksonville Jaguars two weeks ago, and they only gave up 13 points. In other words, the Texans offense was shut down by one of the worst defenses in the league.
On Thursday Night Football, the Texans will get their opportunity for revenge in Jacksonville. With the win, the Texans would pull even with the Jags, and due to the strength of schedule component, the Washington Redskins would take over as the favorite to claim the dubious honor of making the first selection in the 2014 draft.
Interestingly enough, the Redskins shipped their first round pick in 2014 to the St. Louis Rams in the deal that brought Robert Griffin III to Washington. That means if the Texans do beat the Jaguars, and if we’re looking at talent alone they should, the Rams could actually take over as owning the first overall draft selection.
For the Redskins, the end of the season appears rather bleak. After losing this weekend to the Kansas City Chiefs (yes, that’s a prediction), the Redskins go on the road in Atlanta, followed by games against the Cowboys and the Giants. With the exception of their date with the Falcons, it’s hard to imagine the Redskins winning any of their remaining games.
Right now, there’s far too much clutter in the standings to make an accurate prediction concerning which team will own the first pick in the 2014 draft. The Texans are a talented team, but for one reason or another, nothing is clicking for them. The Jaguars, probably one of the least talented groups in the league, has won three of their last four games. The Vikings, how should be a top contender for this title, are being held back by their tie against the Bears. Finally, the Buccaneers are actually playing solid football, and it’s likely they’ll be able to win at least another football game this season.
With all of the above stated (drumroll please), it seems most likely the Washington Redskins will claim the top selection in the 2014, but because of their deal to bring Robert Griffin III to town, that draft pick will be held by the St. Louis Rams, who may not even want a quarterback. If that’s the case, expect the Rams to put the top pick on the open market.
Look, even with just four games left, there’s just too much time to be calling shots. The tie-breaker that matters in determining draft order is strength of schedule, and it’s still fluctuating with each win and loss. The Texans can join the rest of the contenders with a win over Jacksonville, but if the Jaguars are able to beat Houston again, the Texans may want to start taking a look at their draft options, because there’s little in the form of a safety net beyond their primetime matchup with the Jags.