Pictures of the Buccaneers opponents for the 2017 season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' best season since 2010 means their lowest spot in the NFL Draft since 2011.
Tampa Bay's victory over Carolina on Sunday improved their record to 9-7, which puts them in a three-way tie with Denver and Tennessee in the overall 32-team standings. The only tiebreaker that is applied when determining draft order is "strength of schedule (SOS)," or the combined winning percentage of each team's full list of opponents the previous year. Any ties that remain after that are broken by a coin flip.
Based on that SOS tiebreaker, Tennessee will pick 18th, Tampa Bay 19th and Denver 20th. The three teams will then rotate through that order in the subsequent draft rounds, with Denver moving up to 18th in Round Two and the Titans and Bucs dropping to 19th and 20th. Tampa Bay will rotate up and pick 18th in Round Three.
Tampa Bay also ended up in a tie with the loser of the Detroit-Green Bay winner take-all game on Sunday night but lost the playoff spot on a tiebreaker. That near-miss for a post-season berth is reflected clearly in the draft order – the Buccaneers will pick second-to-last in 2017 among all the 2016 non-playoff teams.
Only the first 20 spots in the order are set as of the end of the regular season. The final 12 spots will be determined by playoff results, with the Super Bowl champions picking last and the runners-up picking 31st.
The Buccaneers own all seven of their original draft picks in 2017 but no additional selections.
The Cleveland Browns are set to pick first, followed by San Francisco and Chicago. The Buccaneers will be picking lower in the opening round than they have since 2011, when they picked defensive end Adrian Clayborn 20th overall. Tampa Bay has never executed the 19th overall pick in any draft. They were scheduled to pick 19th in 2009 but traded up two spots to take quarterback Josh Freeman.