ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have officially blown their opportunity to secure the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Monday night’s 27-14 win over the Denver Broncos sealed it, when combined with Week 16 action from some of the league's worst.
The Raiders sit a full game behind Arizona with one contest left to play, but they would lose a strength of schedule tiebreaker with the Cardinals and every other team currently sitting on four wins.
That includes the 49ers, who are in the No. 2 spot with a paltry win total and a .504 strength of schedule. The New York Jets are at No. 3 with a .506. Those SOS numbers come from Tankathon.com. The site's strength of schedule numbers include Week 17 opponents, making those numbers virtual locks at this stage of the season.
The Raiders are nowhere close at .546, meaning they’ll lose every tiebreaker -- except against the Jacksonville Jaguars, maybe -- even if there’s a giant cluster at five wins.
The Silver and Black would need to lose, and have the 49ers and the Jets win, to even get back to No. 2, so they seem stuck at No. 4. That’s especially true considering the 49ers play the Rams and the Jets play the Patriots, with both opponents needing a win for playoff positioning.
So, it seems likely, they’ve blown their chance at Nick Bosa. The former Ohio State edge rusher is expected to go earlier than the Raiders pick, meaning they’ll likely have to look elsewhere for help rushing the passer.
They can get an excellent defensive player at No. 4, including Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, Houston interior lineman Ed Oliver and edge rusher Clelin Ferrell and Josh Allen. LSU middle linebacker Devin White could be a long-term solution for an integral spot as well.
The quarterback spot is pretty weak this year, especially with Oregon’s Justin Herbert returning to school in 2019. That means other teams might not be aggressive trading into a high slot, therefore making trade value for the top spot more pedestrian.
The Raiders would be wise to use their top pick on a premium player at a premium position, considering how bad they need dominant playmakers at several spots.
While that top selection has dropped some, the Raiders still have four picks in the top 35. They have their first- and second-round picks, plus 2019 first-rounders from the Dallas Cowboys (for Amari Cooper) at No. 25 and the Chicago Bears (as part of the Khalil Mack compensation package) at No. 27. Both of those teams have made the playoffs, meaning their dropout round will determine a draft pick range.