The first 20 slots in next year’s draft were finalized on Sunday during the last week of regular-season action in 2013. The results of the upcoming postseason will determine how the 12 playoff teams are slotted. If the Buccaneers stay at #7 – there is always the possibility of trade – it will mark the fourth time in team history they’ve made that specific pick, and the second time in the last three years.
The Houston Texans ended up with the first overall pick thanks to their league-worst 2-14 record. The Washington Redskins were second at 3-13, though that first-round pick actually belongs to the St. Louis Rams as part of the 2012 Robert Griffin III trade. After that, there are five teams tied with a 4-12 mark, and the Buccaneers come out on the bottom end of the ensuing tiebreaker.
Ties in draft order are broken, essentially, by only one method: strength of schedule, which is the term used for the combined winning percentage of all of a team’s opponents in a given year. Of the five teams to finish 4-12, the Buccaneers have the highest strength of schedule mark at .574. Their division opponents, the Atlanta Falcons, are next highest at .523 and thus are slotted sixth. Jacksonville, Cleveland and Oakland take up the third, fourth and fifth slots.
In each subsequent round, those five times will cycle up through the allotted pick range. That is, the Jaguars will move back to #7 in Round 2, with all the other teams moving up one spot, putting the Bucs at #6 in the second round, #38 overall.