While there is great speculation about whether Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano will survive to see a third season after finishing 4-12 in 2013, a couple of things became known about Tampa Bay’s future on Sunday night following the team’s 42-17 loss to the playoff-bound Saints in New Orleans. The Bucs’ 2014 draft order and opponents for next season have been set as Tampa Bay finished the season fourth in the NFC South.
Buccaneers To Have 7th Overall Pick In 2014By virtue of a 4-12 record, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, which will take place on May 8. The Bucs are one of five teams that finished with a 4-12 record, but because they had the toughest strength of schedule, Tampa Bay picks last among those 4-12 teams in the first round.
2014 DRAFT ORDER – FIRST ROUND1. Houston – 2-14 (.559)2. St. Louis (via trade with Washington) – 3-13 (.516)3. Jacksonville – 4-12 (.504)4. Cleveland – 4-12 (.516)5. Oakland – 4-12 (.524)6. Atlanta – 4-12 (.553)
7. Tampa Bay – 4-12 (.573)8. Minnesota – 5-10-1 (.512)9. Buffalo – 6-10 (.520)10. Detroit – 7-9 (.457)11. Tennessee – 7-9 (.504)12. NY Giants – 7-9 (.520)13. St. Louis – 8-8 (.465)14. Chicago – 8-8 (.465)15. Pittsburgh – 8-8 (.469)
Minnesota upset Detroit, 14-13, on Sunday to move to 5-10-1 on the season and allowed Tampa Bay to move up one draft spot from seventh to eighth overall in the first round. While the Bucs will be selecting seventh overall in the first round, the draft order changes in the second round as Tampa Bay will be selecting third overall in the second round with the 35th overall pick.
The Bucs have draft picks in every round except for the third and sixth rounds in 2014. Tampa Bay traded its 2014 third-rounder to New York as part of the trade for Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, and shipped the sixth-round pick to Chicago for reserve offensive tackle Gabe Carimi.
Bucs Finish 4th In NFC South, 2014 Opponents SetThe Bucs’ 4-12 finish, which comes on the heels of last year’s 7-9 finish in Greg Schiano’s first season, and assured Tampa Bay of a last-place finish in the NFC South division behind Carolina (11-5), New Orleans (11-5) and Atlanta (4-12). Both the Falcons and the Buccaneers had 4-12 records and 1-5 records within the division, but Atlanta had a 3-9 mark against NFC opponents, while Tampa Bay had a 2-10 record against NFC foes, which is why the Buccaneers finished behind the Falcons in the NFC South.
Tampa Bay’s 2014 opponents are also set, as the team will be playing the NFC North and AFC North, as well as the traditional NFC South opponents and fourth-place finishers from the NFC West and NFC East.
In addition to NFC South opponents Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans, the Bucs also host Green Bay, Minnesota, Baltimore, Cincinnati and St. Louis, and will travel to Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Washington, along with visits to division rivals Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans. Dates and times of those games will be determined by the NFL in April 2014.
TAMPA BAY’S 2014 HOME OPPONENTSAtlanta Falcons – NFC SouthCarolina Panthers – NFC SouthNew Orleans Saints – NFC SouthGreen Bay Packers – NFC NorthMinnesota Vikings – NFC NorthBaltimore Ravens – AFC NorthCincinnati Bengals – AFC NorthSt. Louis Rams – NFC West fourth-place finisher
TAMPA BAY’S 2014 AWAY OPPONENTSAtlanta Falcons – NFC SouthCarolina Panthers – NFC SouthNew Orleans Saints – NFC SouthChicago Bears – NFC NorthDetroit Lions – NFC NorthCleveland Browns – AFC NorthPittsburgh Steelers – AFC NorthWashington Redskins – NFC East fourth-place finisher
The Bucs were swept by New Orleans and Carolina in 2013, and split the series with Atlanta. The only other common opponents Tampa Bay played this past year and will face again in 2014 are Detroit and St. Louis. The Bucs prevailed against the Lions on the road, 24-21, but lost to the Rams, 23-13, in St. Louis.
Tampa Bay will face four playoff teams in 2014 in NFC South division-winner Carolina, NFC North division-winner Green Bay, AFC North division-winner Cincinnati and NFC wild card team New Orleans.
The Bucs wound up playing six playoff teams in 2013 in Carolina (twice), New Orleans (twice), New England, Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco, in addition to a 10-6 Arizona team that just missed out on a wild card postseason berth. The Bucs were 0-9 against those teams this season.
Scott Reynolds is in his 23rd year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds enjoys giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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