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NFL Draft 2021: What 49ers need to occur in Week 17 to get top-10 pick


#On the surface, the 49ers’ #Week 16 upset win over the #Arizona #Cardinals was impressive. #It showed that despite all the adversity this season has thrown at them, the 49ers refused to quit against a division rival with playoff hopes.

#On the flip side, that win also knocked the 49ers down the 2021 NFL #Draft board. The 49ers currently sit at #No. 15 in the rankings after the #New #England #Patriots’ #Monday night loss to the #Buffalo #Bills. #You’ll see some boards that have the 49ers ahead of the #Patriots, but those haven’t taken into account the #Week 17 opponent for both teams. #With the 49ers facing the 11-4 #Seattle #Seahawks and the #Patriots facing the 2-13 #New #York #Jets, the #Patriots’ strength of schedule dips below the 49ers and gives them the tiebreaker.

#Now, #No. 15 isn’t an ideal position to be in for a team that might want to draft a quarterback. There’s a good chance that the top-four quarterbacks will be off the board in the top 10. #Regardless of where you stand on the quarterback position, everyone can agree that getting the best possible pick out of this forgettable season is the most ideal scenario for #Kyle #Shanahan and #John #Lynch.

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The 49ers, while sitting at #No. 15 now, do have an outside chance to move all the way into the top 10 of the draft depending on how the chips fall in #Week 17. #Right now, the 49ers are tied with the #Patriots, #Minnesota #Vikings, #Dallas #Cowboys and #Los #Angeles #Chargers. #All four of those teams own the tiebreaker over the 49ers due to a worse strength of schedule. #You can thank the NFC #West for that.

The #Denver #Broncos at 5-10, also factor into the equation heading into #Sunday’s action. The #Carolina #Panthers likewise sit at 5-10 but there doesn’t appear to be a scenario where the 49ers’ strength of schedule would finish below #Carolina’s.

#Let’s also keep in mind that the #Washington #Football #Team (6-9) could factor into the equation, but as the current NFC #East leader they can not get a top-18 pick. #Whoever wins the god awful NFC #East will immediately drop below the 49ers.

#So, here’s what the best-case #Week 17 scenario would be for the 49ers, obviously starting with a loss to the #Seahawks to finish at 6-10.

— #Patriots beat #Jets to move to 7-9
— #Cowboys beat #New #York #Giants to move to 7-9
— #Vikings beat #Detroit #Lions to move to 7-9
— #Chargers beat #Kansas #City #Chiefs to move to 7-9
— #Broncos beat #Raiders to move to 6-10

#Under this scenario, the #Broncos would still have a stronger strength of schedule than the 49ers which means #San #Francisco would finish with the #No. 10 pick and the #Broncos at #No. 11. #Now, you could also hope the #Panthers upset the #Saints, creating a three-way tie for #Nos. 9-11, but I still think the #Panthers would edge the 49ers for the #No. 9 pick. #But, I am a journalist and not a beautiful mind so the math could be off.

#So, how likely is all of this?

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#Let’s start with the first part: The 49ers will have at least 15 players on IR on #Sunday and five more are not expected to play, including #Trent #Williams and #Brandon #Aiyuk. The gutty win over the #Cardinals was nice, but I don’t think they have another upset in them against a #Seahawks team still playing for seeding.

#That’s one. The #Patriots’ offense has been an eyesore all season and the #Jets are frisky. #Having locked up the #No. 2 pick, there’s no doubt the #Jets will be looking to end their season on a high note. #Bill #Belichick has deep-seated hate for #Gang #Green, so don’t expect him to trot out #Jarrett #Stidham to improve his draft position. #Although, are we sure #Stidham is worse than #Cam #Newton? #Anyway, I still think it’s likely the #Patriots knock off the #Jets.

The #Vikings are a bad football team. The #Lions are worse. #Minnesota won’t have #Dalvin #Cook. #Matthew #Stafford is 50-50 to play. The #Vikings should have enough to beat the #Lions even without #Cook.

There’s no doubt the #Cowboys can beat the GIants. #But the NFC #East has been impossible to figure out, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see #Daniel #Jones spoil #Dallas’ playoff hopes. #Keep an eye on that one.

#Can the #Chargers beat the #Chiefs? #Well, #Patrick #Mahomes isn’t going to play, and you won’t see #Travis #Kelce or #Tyreek #Hill either. #Justin #Herbert almost beat the #Chiefs in his first start with no prep. #He can knock off the B team. #But trusting #Anthony #Lynn is a dicey proposition.

#That brings us to the #Broncos. #Drew #Lock has been statistically one of the worst quarterbacks in football this season. #But #Denver keeps playing hard for VIc #Fangio and the #Raiders are a clown car engulfed in flames rolling through the finish line. I think this one has a good shot of happening.

RELATED: #Schrock’s #Week 17 picks: #Can 49ers finish season on high note?
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#In all reality, I think the 49ers split the difference, get a few of the needed results and finish around #No. 12. #That’s not an awful place to be, especially for a team that will be looking at a cornerback or edge rusher with the top quarterbacks off the board.

#But there’s at least a shot the 49ers leave #Sunday with the #No. 10 pick in the draft. A nice consolation prize for a season that never got out of the starting blocks.

#Download and subscribe to the 49ers #Talk #Podcast



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