The Raiders had the No. 1 overall pick in their grasp and let it slip away.
Well, as much as one can by beating a longtime AFC rival with an epic come-from-behind win that reaffirmed Derek Carr’s status as franchise quarterback.
But, for the sake of this story, let’s say the Raiders blew it. The 49ers beat Denver for their third win. The Raiders could’ve secure pole position for the No. 1 pick as the NFL's only two-win team.
But they gave a long-suffering fan base, one losing its team posthaste, a reason to enjoy a Sunday in Oakland. Again, let’s call this a blown opportunity.
The Raiders maintained their grip on the No. 3 overall pick, matching the 49ers and Cardinals with three wins. Their strength of schedule keeps the Raiders below those other teams and will if they share win totals at season’s end.
Let’s take a look at where their 2019 NFL draft order sits after Week 14 action:
No. 3 overall (Last week: No. 2)
How it was earned: This slip was detailed above. The Raiders had a chance to move up, but a win keeps them just behind the 49ers and Cardinals. The Silver and Black could get two more wins to close out the year -- Denver and Cincinnati are both vulnerable -- and plummet outside the top 5 for the first time in forever.
No. 24 overall (Last week: No. 23)
How it was earned: This draft pick acquired from Dallas continues to plummet thanks in large part to the guy traded for it. Amari Cooper had a huge game, including the game-winning touchdown in overtime to give Dallas another victory.
The Cowboys are 5-1 since Cooper arrived, and seem poise for a late-season playoff run now that they’ve the game breaking wide receiver on their side. This pick could look pretty bad by season’s end.
No. 26 overall (Last week 26)
How it was earned: The Bears won again, against the Rams no less, thanks to a shutdown defense paced by Khalil Mack. The Bears seem playoff bound since with the rest of the NFC North struggling, and any sort of postseason run puts this pick near the bottom.
I should also remind you that this pick is the most valuable commodity from the Mack trade. There’s another first-round pick coming in 2020, but the Raiders had to give a second-rounder back. If the Bears are good and the Raiders stink, that will be an exchange of a few draft slots.