With this regular season just about to end and the Bills (again) not headed to the postseason, it’s time to check in to see where Buffalo will be picking in the 2012 draft. Last week, we talked about how the Bills were almost certainly headed for the a top-10 pick.
Well, that was before Buffalo went and screwed it up by getting the upset win over Denver this past Sunday. While I’m always happy to see a Bills victory, that win will almost certainly knock Buffalo back a few spots in the draft. Here’s the updated “standings:”
T1) Indianapolis and St. Louis (2-13)
3) Minnesota (3-12)
T4) Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Jacksonville (4-11)
T7) Miami, Washington (5-10)
T9) Buffalo, Carolina, Kansas City (6-9)
T12) Arizona, Seattle, Chicago, San Diego, Philadelphia (7-8)
Currently, the highest Buffalo could pick is 7th, and the lowest potential spot is 15th. (Seattle and Arizona play each other, so one will get to 8-8 and Buffalo can’t tie them in the standings.)
If you weren’t aware, tiebreakers are determined by “strength of schedule,” i.e. the combined winning percentage of all your opponents. In the event of a tie, the team with the worst strength of schedule gets the higher pick. Currently Buffalo’s strength of schedule is pretty low at .498, so that will help in the event of a tiebreaker. (See a more or less complete strength of schedule chart here.)
Buffalo faces a very tall order this weekend in New England, while the two teams tied with Buffalo have winnable games. Carolina is at New Orleans, but the Saints might not need the game. Kansas City, of course, has the Tebow/Orton duel in Denver. Miami (playing the Jets) and Washington (taking on the Eagles) could both also very well win, and move themselves behind Buffalo in the draft.
As you’ll hear me say a lot in coming weeks, I like the top of this draft quite a bit. The Bills should certainly be able to find a contributor in the early first round. Checking out the NFL Mocks Big Board (NFLMocks.com should be your one-stop shop for Draft News in the coming months), there’s a ton of guys to like in the 7-15 spots. For instance, Oklahoma St. WR Justin Blackmon is currently in the #9 spot. If the Bills end up with Blackmon, I’ll pass out with joy. And that’s just one of a lot of exciting possibilities out there for the Bills.