<
>

Updated NFL draft order projection after Week 15

With quarterback Marcus Mariota possibly out for the remainder of the season, the Titans project to get the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL draft. AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Here's a scary thought: The NFL's list of teams competing for a top-10 pick in next year's draft is longer than the list of those who deserve to make the playoffs.

That is, of course, if you consider a winning record a fair prerequisite for a postseason berth. As of Tuesday morning, there were only 11 teams above .500 in a league that takes 12 to the postseason. Three more are at .500, and the other 18 have losing records. (Perspective: In 2014, the NFL finished with 16 winning teams, 14 losing teams and two at .500.)

In the end, that means some really bad teams are going to find themselves outside of the top 10 in the 2016 NFL draft. Below is a look at how ESPN's Football Power Index projects it all to shake out over the next two weeks. Keep in mind that this is not a snapshot of what the draft order would be if the season ended today but a prediction of what it's likely to be when the season actually ends.

1. Tennessee Titans

Record: 3-11

FPI odds of top pick: 63.2 percent

FPI odds of top-5 pick: 98.7 percent

Comment: The NFL draft tiebreaker is reverse order of strength of schedule, and the Titans (.490) maintain a healthy "lead" over the Browns (.520) there. The Titans will also start backup quarterback Zach Mettenberger in at least one, if not both, of their remaining games. Mettenberger is 0-8 as an NFL starter.

2. Cleveland Browns

Record: 3-11

FPI odds of top pick: 34.5 percent

FPI odds of top-5 pick: 98.6 percent

Comment: To fall lower than the No. 2 overall pick, the Browns will need to beat at least one of two remaining opponents with the playoffs on their minds: the Chiefs in Kansas City in Week 16 or the Steelers at home in Cleveland in the season finale. Doesn't seem likely.

3. Baltimore Ravens

Record: 4-10

FPI odds of top pick: 1.5 percent

FPI odds of top-5 pick: 89.1 percent

Comment: The Ravens are projecting for their highest draft selection since moving to Baltimore in 1996. Their three previous top-five picks were pretty decent: offensive lineman Jonathan Ogden in 1996, pass-rusher Peter Boulware in 1997 and running back Jamal Lewis in 2000.

4. San Diego Chargers

Record: 4-10

FPI odds of top pick: 0.7 percent

FPI odds of top-5 pick: 69.1 percent

Comment: If nothing else, this season will give the franchise a blue-chip rookie to market to their new fans in Los Angeles. (Provided their celebrity fans in Los Angeles care about the draft, for which they cannot buy suite tickets and be seen on television. And provided that the Chargers actually move to Los Angeles, of course.)

5. San Francisco 49ers

Record: 4-10

FPI odds of top pick: <0.1 percent

FPI odds of top-5 pick: 44.5 percent

Comment: Despite their record, FPI considers the 49ers the worst team in football based on a composite ranking of their offense, defense and special-teams efficiencies. So in a dark way, you could say the 49ers have over-won this season. Happy holidays!

6. Dallas Cowboys

Record: 4-10

FPI odds of top pick: 0.1 percent

FPI odds of top-5 pick: 38.2 percent

Comment: The Cowboys are projecting just high enough for draft debate to center on whether they should select their quarterback of the future. You know Jerry Jones wants to do it. Tony Romo will be 36 next season and has dealt with too many serious injuries in recent years for anyone to assume he has a Tom Brady-like career projection.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Record: 5-9

FPI odds of top pick: 0 percent

FPI odds of top-5 pick: 25.6 percent

Comment: Here's this NFL season in a nutshell: A team projecting to select No. 7 overall has not yet been eliminated from the playoffs with two weeks remaining. The Jaguars are 5-9 but still in contention, albeit shakily, for the AFC South championship.

8. Miami Dolphins

Record: 5-9

FPI odds of top pick: 0 percent

FPI odds of top-5 pick: 17.7 percent

Comment: Hey Miami, are you sure you want to choose in the top 10? You've done it five times since 2005. The results: running back Ronnie Brown (2005), receiver Ted Ginn (2007), offensive lineman Jake Long (2008), quarterback Ryan Tannehill (2012) and defensive end Dion Jordan (2013). OK, then.

9. New Orleans Saints

Record: 5-9

FPI odds of top pick: 0 percent

FPI odds of top-5 pick: 14.2 percent

Comment: One benefit of Monday night's loss: The Saints swapped places with the Lions in FPI projections. Welcome to the top 10 and all the prosperity assured therein.

10. Chicago Bears

Record: 5-9

FPI odds of top pick: 0 percent

FPI odds of top-5 pick: 1.9 percent

Comment: A three-game losing streak has vaulted the Bears into this exclusive club -- for now. There are eight teams within one game of the Bears' record, and their upcoming schedule -- at the Buccaneers and at home against the Lions -- is hardly overwhelming.