The Browns are officially on the clock for the 2018 NFL draft.
Hours after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen would prefer to land with the Giants over the Browns, Cleveland mathematically locked up the top pick in next year's draft. It's no secret that the Browns are in desperate need of help at quarterback and that Rosen, along with USC's Sam Darnold, Wyoming's Josh Allen and Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield, is a potential first-round pick.
In addition to clinching the top overall pick, Cleveland's second first-round selection now has the fourth-lowest average projected draft position at 4.6.
Each week, the Football Power Index (FPI) projects the order of next year's draft by simulating the remainder of the season 10,000 times. Game probabilities are based largely on the model's ratings for individual teams in addition to game location. While we don't need to simulate the season's remaining games to know where the Browns will pick next year, we do for the rest of the top 10.
FPI takes some time to run, but on Sundays we can produce a live projection that includes that day's results but does not incorporate changes to FPI ratings based on that day's performances, which is what you see below. In some cases, the projected draft order will not match the current draft order. That's because FPI is considering the probability of outcomes that haven't yet occurred and, crucially, projecting strength of schedule at the end of the season, since that is a tiebreaker for draft order.
In addition to the Browns' securing of the No. 1 pick, the Giants moved closer to locking down the second spot and now have a projected average draft position of 2.3. The 49ers are moving in the opposite direction (7.1), though that is of little concern to them given the emergence of Jimmy Garoppolo.
Below is FPI's projected order for the 2018 draft, based on each team's average draft position in the simulations. While each team's current record is listed below, remember that the order is based on the record the model believes the teams will have after 16 games: