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By CHRIS VIVLAMORE

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 12/30/07

The Falcons will select third in the 2008 NFL draft, getting the pick in the third tie-breaker between four teams. Miami (1-15) and St. Louis (3-13) will make the first two picks.

The Falcons, Oakland, Kansas City and the New York Jets all finished 4-12. The Falcons, Raiders and Chiefs had identical strengths of schedule, the first tie-breaker. The Raiders and Chiefs split their two meetings, the second tie-breaker, and neither played the Falcons. The Falcons won the third tie-breaker, division record, by going 1-5 in the NFC South as the Raiders and Chiefs were both 2-4 in the AFC West. The tie-breaker between the Raiders and Chiefs was broken by virtue of the Raiders having a worse record among common opponents, the fourth tie-breaker.

The Falcons' victory Sunday did not cost them a spot in the draft order. Had the Falcons lost and finished tied with St. Louis at 3-13, the Rams would still have picked second based on strength of schedule.

San Francisco and Baltimore both finished 5-11. New England, getting the 49ers' first-round pick, will select seventh and the Ravens eighth based on strength of schedule.

Seven teams are tied with 7-9 records pending tie-breakers. Next are four teams at 8-8, including Houston. Since the Falcons receive the Texans' second-round pick after the Matt Schuab trade, they will also make a selection between the 16-19 pick of the second round, pending tie-breakers.

2008 DRAFT ORDER

1. Miami

2. St. Louis

3. Atlanta

4. Oakland

5. Kansas City

6. N.Y. Jets

7. New England (from San Fran.)

8. Baltimore

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