There's only one week left in the 2018-19 NFL regular season, and there's only one thing 49ers and Raiders should care about -- the 2019 NFL Draft order.
After their 14-9 loss to the Bears on Sunday, the 49ers dropped to 4-11, but jumped the Jets in draft order due to strength of schedule. The 49ers now own the No. 3 pick in the draft with one game to go.
But the Raiders on the other hand, have two games left as they played the Broncos tonight in what could be the finale of the Oakland Coliseum, and then head Kansas City to play the Chiefs on Sunday. Much can change for Oakland in the draft depending on the outcomes of these final two games.
Right now the Raiders are projected to have the No. 2 pick the draft, one spot above the 49ers.
Projected Draft Order heading into Monday night and final Sunday of the regular season:
1. Cardinals 3-12
2. Raiders 3-11
3. 49ers 4-11
4. Jets 4-11
5. Lions 5-10
6. Giants 5-10
7 or 8 << Bills 5-10
7 or 8 << Buccaneers 5-10
9. Jaguars 5-10
10. Panthers 6-9— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 24, 2018
However, their draft range is much wider. Even if the 49ers beat the Rams on Sunday, the worst they can do is have the No. 5 pick, according to Adam Stites of SB Nation. If the Raiders come out on top these next two games, they can fall all the way to ninth.
Draft ranges (earliest-latest a team could pick)
1. AZ (1st-4th)
2. OAK (1st-9th)
3. SF (1st-5th)
4. NYJ (1st-5th)
5. DET (2nd-10th)
6. TB (4th-10th)
7. NYG (4th-10th)
8. BUF (4th-10th)
9. JAX (4th-11th)
10. ATL (5th-16th)
11. CAR (6th-16th)
12. CIN (9th-16th)— Adam Stites (@AdamStites_) December 24, 2018
Maybe more than any other team, the Raiders need their top pick in the draft to be as high as possible. Much of this has to do with their trades of Khalil Mack to the Bears and Amari Cooper to the Cowboys.
Mack has been a Defensive Player of the Year candidate for the NFC North champion Bears while Cooper has turned the Cowboys' offense into a real problem for defenses as Dallas won the NFC East on Sunday. Through Week 16, the Raiders' first-round pick from the Bears is projected to be No. 28, and the pick the Cowboys gave them is at No. 25.
Neither pick will fall out of the top 20 with both teams winning their division.
Finishing on a strong note is always the goal for every team. For the 49ers and Raiders, finishing strong only means getting closer to the top pick in the draft.