The Bills were officially eliminated from playoff contention Saturday, extending their playoff drought to 17 consecutive seasons.
As is the ritual in these parts, attention now turns to where the Bills will be picking in the draft.
The Bills are 7-8 heading into their final game against the Jets and currently hold the 12th draft position. All the remaining teams playing Sunday and Monday are ahead of them in the standings.
The Bills are still alive for a top-10 pick. They could move up as high as ninth overall with a loss, or they could drop to the high teens with a win depending on next week's results.
Here are the current draft standings as of Sunday afternoon, starting with No. 1 and ending with the teams the Bills could still tie at 8-8.
|2||San Francisco||2-13-0||.493 (109)|
|5||Los Angeles||4-11-0||.507 (112)|
|6||New York Jets||4-11-0||.520 (114)|
|7||San Diego||5-10-0||.536 (119)|
|14||New Orleans||7-8-0||.514 (113)|
|17||Tampa Bay||8-7-0||.505 (111)|
The first tiebreaker for draft order is strength of schedule. For teams with the same record, the one with the easier schedule is thought to be weaker, so it would get the higher pick. Records against conference opponents and division opponents are the next tiebreakers.
For groups of tied teams, whichever team had the highest pick in the first round moves to the back of the group in the second round, and then progresses back to the front of the group in each following round.
Bills' opponents are under .500 this season, but a subpar schedule gives the Bills an edge over the three other 7-8 teams for draft position.
The highest Buffalo could pick is ninth, if Carolina, Philadelphia and Arizona all win next week and the Bills lose to the Jets. Carolina plays Tampa Bay in Week 17, Philadelphia plays Dallas and Arizona plays Los Angeles.
The Bills had the 19th overall pick in the 2016 draft and selected Clemson edge rusher Shaq Lawson. Their last top-10 selection was receiver Sammy Watkins, whom they selected fourth overall in 2014 after trading up.
The Bills still own their first three selections in the 2017 draft. They sent their fourth-rounder to Chicago last year in moving up to select linebacker Reggie Ragland. They also acquired Dallas’ fifth-rounder in the Matt Cassel trade while sending their seventh-round pick.
The biggest draft needs for the Bills are expected to be at wide receiver and safety. If they move on from Tyrod Taylor, they will also be in the market for a quarterback.