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Originally published December 27, 2011 at 7:01 PM | Page modified December 28, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Finale has huge NFL draft implications for Seahawks

Seattle could choose as high as No. 10 and as low as No. 19.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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The Seahawks' regular-season finale at Arizona may not have any playoff implications, but the impact will still be felt in April when the league holds its annual draft.

The Seahawks could wind up choosing anywhere from No. 10 overall to No. 19 in the first round, depending on this week's results.

Seattle is smack dab in the middle of the league with 13 other teams whose records are either 6-9 or 7-8. The Seahawks could finish tied with any one of them.

The NFL uses strength of schedule as a tiebreaker in draft order, the team with the weakest schedule getting the better first-round pick. Strength of schedule is determined by the collective winning percentage of a given team's opponents.

Using that criteria, it's possible to determine that the absolute best first-round pick Seattle can land is No. 10 overall while the worst pick is No. 19 overall.

That's not quite as wide a range as Seattle faced entering the final game last season. Had the Seahawks lost their regular-season finale to the St. Louis Rams, Seattle would have held the No. 8 overall choice. Since Seattle made the playoffs with that victory, the Seahawks were guaranteed to choose in the 20s. After beating the Saints in a first-round playoff game, the Seahawks wound up picking No. 25 overall in the first round.

Now to be clear: Seattle isn't picking either No. 10 or No. 19 depending on whether it wins or loses in Arizona. Those are the extremes, the best and worst-case scenarios. The Seahawks' exact draft position will depend on the results of those other teams knotted in the middle of the standings.

Even if Seattle wins at Arizona on Sunday, the Seahawks could still wind up choosing as high as No. 15 overall in the first round.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @dannyoneil.

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