- Dan Graziano, ESPN New York Giants reporter
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If the season ended today, the New York Giants would hold the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Of course, if the season ended today, it would also really mess up everyone's fantasy football playoffs and cost teams millions in lost gate revenue, which means the season is not ending today and there is time for the Giants to actually improve that draft position -- especially if they keep losing for another couple of weeks.
The Giants currently have the same record as Washington, which occupies the No. 6 draft pick slot right now due to a weaker schedule (which is the tiebreaker for draft purposes). But the Giants play Washington in Week 15, and if they were to lose that game they could move ahead of Washington and closer to that top five, depending of course on what happens in the other three weeks.
The 3-9 Giants are also only one game worse than the 2-10 Tennessee Titans, whom they play this week. Tennessee also has a weaker schedule, based on opponents' combined winning percentage. But if the Giants were to lose all of their remaining games and the Titans were to win one of their three non-Giants games, the Giants could move ahead of them in the draft order as well.
The Jets are 2-10 as well following Monday night's loss to the Dolphins, but their opponents' winning percentage is higher, which means a Giants' loss and a Jets' win would jump the Giants ahead of the Jets in the draft order. There's also a chance they could pass the 2-10 Jaguars if they keep losing and the Jaguars win another game, as their schedule strength is very close to Jacksonville's and the opponents' win percentage fluctuates from week to week as teams' records change.
The Giants aren't trying to lose games to improve their draft spot. The strong preference of the players, the coaches and everyone in the organization is to win the last four and match last year's 7-9 record. After the Jaguars picked up their second victory of the season Sunday, I overheard someone who works for them say in the elevator, "It'll be a lot nicer around the office this week." The Giants want to be able to say and feel that at some point soon.
But the consolation for losing in the NFL is a high draft pick, and it seems the Giants are bound for one regardless. As for what they'd do with it, you know me. I go line, offensive or defensive. There are a number of very good-looking pass-rushers at the top of Mel Kiper's Big Board, including USC's Leonard Williams, Nebraska's Randy Gregory and Missouri's Shane Ray, and the Giants will need to work on rebuilding their pass rush as well as their offensive line this offseason. They should be able to get a big-body building block if they hold onto or improve their draft slot in these final four weeks.
If the season ended today, the New York Giants would hold the No. 7 overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.