Race for 2018 NFL Draft No. 1 pick: Kirk Cousins auditioning for 49ers in Week 6?

You know what the 49ers are missing? A quarterback. San Francisco is 0-5 and has lost its past four games by a combined 11 points. Yeah, really.  

Journeyman Brian Hoyer is completing less than 60 percent of his attempts and has a passer rating of 75.8. 

Quarterback Kirk Cousins -- who 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan worked with in Washington -- and the Redskins host San Francisco's squad Sunday, and there's a decent chance the signal-caller becomes available in the offseason. How's that for some drama for a game featuring a team squarely in the race for the No. 1 overall pick?

Before I get going ... here's a look at the current 2018 NFL Draft order. I used SportsLine's updated projected win totals as tiebreakers through five games. This order will change a lot.

Draft Order

  1. Cleveland Browns (0-5)
  2. New York Giants (0-5)
  3. San Francisco 49ers (0-5)
  4. Chicago Bears (1-4)
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (1-4)
  6. Indianapolis Colts (2-3)
  7. Oakland Raiders (2-3)
  8. Arizona Cardinals (2-3)
  9. Cleveland Browns from Texans (2-3)
  10. Cincinnati Bengals (2-3)
  11. Tennessee Titans (2-3)
  12. Dallas Cowboys (2-3)
  13. Miami Dolphins (2-2)
  14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2)
  15. Washington Redskins (2-2)
  16. New Orleans Saints (2-2)
  17. New York Jets (3-2)
  18. Los Angeles Rams (3-2)
  19. Detroit Lions (3-2)
  20. Minnesota Vikings (3-2)
  21. Buffalo Bills (3-2)
  22. Baltimore Ravens (3-2)
  23. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-2)
  24. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2)
  25. Seattle Seahawks (3-2)
  26. New England Patriots (3-2)
  27. Denver Broncos (3-1)
  28. Atlanta Falcons (3-1)
  29. Carolina Panthers (4-1)
  30. Green Bay Packers (4-1)
  31. Philadelphia Eagles (4-1)
  32. Buffalo Bills from Chiefs (5-0)

These Week 6 games have the most bearing on the race for the No. 1 pick.

49ers at Redskins

The Kirk Cousins game! I assume Cousins has a big #mancrush on Kyle Shanahan and the feeling is mutual for the 49ers coach. Washington has won with an underrated defense in 2017, and despite its 0-5 record, San Francisco has been competitive. Shanahan's crew lost by three to the Seahawks, by two to the Rams then in back-to-back overtimes against the Cardinals and Colts. I think we get a close one here. 


Giants at Broncos

One of my friends moved to my hometown from near New York City as a junior in high school. He always told me how he and his family were unusual because they were Giants fans and Mets fans, because the typical team football-baseball alliances in the Big Apple are Jets-Mets and Giants-Yankees. I tell that story because the Mets have desensitized Jets fans to front-office ineptitude, managerial blunders and losing. Gang Green goes 0 for September. Whatever. But Giants fans adhere to an unprecedentedly high bar of expectations, an assumption of coaching proficiency, superstar production and winning that has permeated from baseball season with their beloved Yankees. Therefore, G-Men faithful are on the verge of mutiny given the way the 2017 campaign is unfolding. And the Jets are 3-2! You kiddin' me? Now, the Giants head into Denver to face a Broncos team coming off the bye week, and is without Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Sterling Shepard and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, and the team has no semblance of a run game. Oh boy. Good luck, Ben McAdoo.  


Browns at Texans

So much for the unwavering support in DeShone Kizer. Actually, the rookie's benching doesn't mean the Kizer experiment is officially over. I mean, he's younger than Mason Rudolph and Baker Mayfield. I just think reality is setting in on Hue Jackson. This isn't the first year of the rebuilding process anymore. This is when the Browns should be showing signs of progress. They aren't. Kevin Hogan had an impressive game against the Jets, so Jackson is going with the hot hand. Unfortunately, that's the way the NFL can be today, another byproduct of the instant gratification society in which we currently live. Facing Deshaun Watson, the quarterback Cleveland's front office passed on just months ago, could make this game sting more than usual for the Browns. Houston is short-handed without J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, but I just can't see the Browns scoring enough to win this one of the road.


Bears at Ravens

Hey, Bears ... how about featuring Tarik Cohen more? Like maybe how you did in in Weeks 1 and 2 when he turned 25 touches into 181 yards and a touchdown. The lightning bug had 102 yards on 16 touches in the huge win over the Steelers in Week 3, too. But since then, 16 total touches. Chicago's defense got revved up a bit against the Vikings on "Monday Night Football" and Mitchell Trubisky flashed. It is facing a Ravens team that I don't know if I'll ever figure out. This is a game in which the Bears might compete if they protect their rookie quarterback.


Chargers at Raiders

Philip Rivers won a close game against the Giants in Week 5. And, man, did he ever deserve it. As per usual, Rivers' offensive line is a MASH unit, and he somehow keeps his club competitive in just about every game. It hasn't just been him though, and in fact, the Chargers defense is as good now as it has been in a long time, thanks to Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, the preeminent edge-rushing tandem in football. You know what's crazy about this game? If the Chargers win, they'll have the same record as the Raiders and have a game up in the head-to-head tiebreaker ... not exactly something most of us expected through six games. I doubt anyone had Oakland under .500 in mid-October, either.

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