After the Oakland Raiders won the Battle of the Bay Sunday beating the San Francisco 49ers, their draft position dropped from number one to number five. While the four teams ahead of the Raiders (Buccaneers, Titans, Jaguars, Jets) all share the same record of 2-11, the Raiders fall to fifth because they have the strongest strength of schedule.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.488 strength of schedule)
2. Tennessee Titans (.490 strength of schedule)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (.522 strength of schedule)
4. New York Jets (.549 strength of schedule)
5. Oakland Raiders (.590 strength of schedule)
The Raiders remaining foes (Chiefs, Bills, Broncos) have a combined .615 record so it is very possible the Raiders will lose out the rest of the year. If that happens, they still have a chance to finish with the number one overall pick.
Tennessee will play an easier schedule with their remaining teams (Jets, Jaguars, Colts) combining for a .333 record. Notice that both the Jets and Jaguars remain on their schedule. That means one of the teams has to lose. Unless the Titans win both games, the Raiders would automatically jump into the top-three.
As long as the Titans don't win both games against the Jets and Jaguars, the Raiders are guaranteed to finish the season with a top-three pick assuming they lose out. The tricky part is the Buccaneers would have to win a game and either the Jets, Jaguars or Titans would have to win one game (two of those three will have won a game assuming the Titans don't win twice).
If the chips fall into place, the Raiders would end up with the 2015 number one overall pick.
Why is getting the number one overall pick so important?
If the Raiders picked in the top-five, they would still be able to land a top prospect such as Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory, or even USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams.
The main reason the 2015 number one overall pick is so important is because of one man -- Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. The Heisman favorite has thrown 101 touchdowns to only 12 interception in three seasons. He is regarded as the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck in 2012. If you are a team such as the Buccaneers, Jets, or Titans that desperately needs a quarterback, he is your answer.
If you are a team in the Raiders situation where they have a quarterback they believe is a winner, the pick holds even more value because a team, whether it be the Buccaneers, Jets, Titans, or maybe even the Eagles, is going to trade up and offer a lot to get Mariota.
You might ask, if the Buccaneers have the number two overall pick and know the Raiders aren't going to draft Mariota because they have Derek Carr, why would they trade up? They would trade up because they want to make sure teams like the Jets and Titans don't jump ahead of them and take Mariota. Even though Tampa Bay would be just one pick behind, they would give up a lot of picks to ensure they got their man.
We're talking an RG3 like deal here where the Raiders would potentially get multiple first, second, and third round picks. In 2012, the Redskins gave up three first-round picks and a second-round pick to acquire Robert Griffin III. Mariota is regarded as an even better quarterback prospect, and with many teams likely willing to trade the Raiders could get an even better deal. So not only would they get a ton of valuable picks, they would likely still pick in the top-five if they traded with the Buccaneers, Jets, or Titans.
While the Raiders have dropped in one week from the number one to number five overall pick, there is still a solid chance they can finish the year with the top pick. These next few weeks, Raider fans are going to root against the Buccaneers, Titans, Jets, and Jaguars because if the Raiders get lucky enough to have that first overall pick, the rewards could be tremendous.