The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have never executed the 13th overall pick in the NFL draft, but you can't chalk that up to triskaidekaphobia. They've simply never had the opportunity.
That could change this coming April, unless General Manager Mark Dominik decides to do some more early-round wheeling and dealing, as he did so successfully last spring. Presumably, that would be motivated by an attempt to duplicate the sort of Mark Barron-Doug Martin-Lavonte David haul Dominik managed in the 2012 draft, not from that aforementioned fear of the number 13.
As for now, the Buccaneers are set to pick 13th in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, a spot that was determined on Sunday when the NFL standings were finalized. The draft order is determined by each team's winning percentage, ranked from worst to best, and then ties are broken using only one criteria: strength of schedule. The final 12 spots still may change – some of them certainly will – depending upon what happens in the playoffs.
The Bucs were one of five teams to finish with a 7-9 record, which means they will spend the 2013 draft rotating spots, round by round, with San Diego, Miami, Carolina and New Orleans. In that group of five, the Bucs initially slot in third thanks to their opponent winning percentage of .502 in 2012. The Chargers got the 11th pick with a .457 winning percentage and the Dolphins got the 12th with a .500 mark. The reasoning behind that particular tiebreaker is that a 7-9 record against a harder schedule indicates a slightly better team than a 7-9 record against an easier schedule. Carolina (.516) and New Orleans (.521) will pick 14th and 15th, respectively.
In the second round, the Chargers will move back to the 15th pick and the other four teams will all move up one spot. That means the Bucs will pick 12th in Round Two, 11th in Round Three, 15th in Round Four, and so on. Here are the 20 draft spots that have been determined so far (SOS stands for strength of schedule, which is the combined winning percentage of a team's 16 2012 opponents):
- Kansas City
- N.Y. Jets *
- Tennessee *
- San Diego
- Tampa Bay
- New Orleans
- St. Louis
- N.Y. Giants
- Since their records and strength of schedule are identical, the Jets and Titans will actually conduct a coin flip to see which team picks ninth.
Interestingly, the Buccaneers would have been slotted ninth in the draft order had they not pulled off the upset in Atlanta on Sunday. That's nothing more than a side note, however, as the team would take the victory over the draft position every time.
Tampa Bay currently owns eight picks in the 2013 draft, its own selection in each of the seven rounds and the extra fourth it netted from New England in the Aqib Talib trade. The team had received a seventh-round pick from Chicago in the Brian Price trade but sent that to the Patriots as part of the Talib deal.
The 13th pick in last year's draft was WR Michael Floyd, by the Arizona Cardinals. Other recent players picked 13th overall include Detroit DT Nick Fairley, Washington LB Brian Orakpo, Saints T Jammal Brown and Falcons DE John Abraham (by the Jets).
The Bucs have picked in the vicinity of the 13th pick many times, if not at that exact spot. Three 12th-overall picks netted the team DT Warren Sapp (1995), DE Regan Upshaw (1996) and RB Warrick Dunn (1997). The 14th spot brought in T Kenyatta Walker in 2001 and the 15th spot produced WR Michael Clayton in 2004.