The good folks over at Field Gulls have done some research, and concluded that maybe they won't be getting a top 5 pick from Denver after all this year. Obviously Denver hasn't gotten to the meat of its schedule yet, but only picking them to win three games the rest of the season isn't very plausible. Not in a division with Oakland and KC in it.
I think the bottom line here is that evaluating the NFL through last year's prism often yields mistakes; Baltimore, New England, Dallas and even Indy aren't the teams they were last year. Bill Nolan isn't running last year's scheme or personnel out there either. If there's one thing I've observed about Denver's defense this year, it's that they're totally raising the bar on high leverage downs, bringing pressure and most importantly playing to the strengths of the players they have. With this kind of effort out of the front seven, Denver should be able to comfortably cruise to a 7 or 8 win season even with a caretaker offense designed to limit mistakes.
I haven't read much discussion on how first round picks in an uncapped league would work next year either ... even if the Hawks did get a top 5 pick out of this, good luck signing that guy in an uncapped league. Michael Crabtree's going to look like a miser compared to the holdouts some of these guys will pull next year.
Given the Seahawks' own problems with injuries I wouldn't be in the least surprised to see the two teams finish within a game of each other's record.