The Colts would have the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 draft if the 2017 season ended after seven weeks. Is that their ceiling? I mean, without Andrew Luck, Indianapolis looks completely out of whack despite a clearly improved defensive front.

New general manager Chris Ballard made some shrewd moves this past offseason, but everyone knew it would take more than a few months for him to straighten up the mess left by ex-GM Ryan Grigson, who was in that position a few years too long. Can the Colts muster a win on the road over the 2-4 Bengals? Ehhhh. It's definitely the best "race for the No. 1 pick" game of Week 8, if you want to look at it that way.

Before I start ... let's look at the current 2018 NFL Draft order. I'm now using the official draft order, which still will change a lot.

Draft Order

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

These Week 8 games have the most bearing on the race for the No. 1 pick.

Vikings at Browns

This is what the NFL is sending to London this week. Woof. I saw a tweet from Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith last week -- there has never been a London game that featured two teams with a winning record. Double woof. Somehow, the 1-15 Browns of a season ago seem to be much more competent than the 2017 version of the team. 

The "how did Cleveland pass on Carson Wentz?" chorus has been deafening after "Monday Night Football" in Week 7, and Myles Garrett is in the concussion protocol. The Browns will be lucky to score two touchdowns against this stingy Vikings defense. 


49ers at Eagles

So, yeah ... the 49ers didn't catch the Cowboys in a trap game last week. They caught a fresh 2-3 Cowboys team coming off the bye. Now they face the hottest and potentially best team in all of football ... on the road. Yikes. San Francisco's quarterbacks -- Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard -- have combined for a 1.8 touchdown rate and a 6.2 interception percentage through six games. Wentz's touchdown rate this season is 7.2 percent and his interception rate is 1.7.

It looks like another week with the Browns and 49ers as the "top" two teams in the draft order.  

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers and the Browns are in a dead heat for the No. 1 pick.  USATSI

Buccaneers at Panthers 

This is an intriguing game because we have no idea which Panthers team will show up, and the Buccaneers seem better than their 2-4 record. Will we see the Panthers team that beat the Patriots 33-30 in New England? Or the team that was held to a field goal last week against the Bears? As for Tampa Bay, it has lost three consecutive games while averaging 24.6 points thanks to a porous defense that has had troubling filling in the holes around stars like Gerald McCoy and Lavonte David

If Carolina wins at home -- and it seems like Luke Kuechly is the player who holds everything together, so his availability is vital -- the Buccaneers will be, at least for the moment, in the running for the top pick, but they're too talented to stay in that race.


Colts at Bengals

After a dismal start the Bengals rattled off two straight wins before falling flat against the rival Steelers in Pittsburgh. And how about Joe Mixon accumulating 48 yards on seven rushes in the first half then not getting a carry in the second half? The Colts have a three-point win over the Browns, and they beat the 49ers in overtime. 

Jacoby Brissett has been a manageable bridge to whenever Luck returns, but he's completing less than 60 percent of his throws and has a passer rating of 79.8. Not to mention, Indianapolis' defense is still in shambles on the back end, and 2017 first-round pick Malik Hooker being out won't do it any favors. The loser of this game probably won't get the No. 1 overall pick next April yet will be on the fast track to a top-five selection.