Today, we finally get to complete our look at all the Team Needs for the NFC as we now examine the NFC West. Looking at this division will make you realize that all 4 teams have some gaps to fill, but it will be obvious that 1 team has a lot more than the rest. As I’ve said in the previous articles, I’ll be talking about the need of immediate starters, no depth. Also, once again, I’ll be giving my recommendation on their draft picks within the 1st 3 rounds. So, let’s jump right the NFC West team needs.
Arizona Cardinals (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 13th, 45th, 77th.
- Defensive End – Robert Nkemdiche, the Cards 1st round pick in 2016, will get his shot at 1 of the 2 starting DE spots. However, the other side currently has a lot of projects. They need to upgrade over Rodney Gunter and Josh Mauro.
- Cornerback – Patrick Peterson is a top 5 CB in the league. After him, the Cardinals have nothing above average. In a year with the amount of depth at CB that there is, they should make it a point to get a future tag-team partner to Peterson.
- Nose Tackle – Since the Cardinals lost Dan Williams, they have not been able to fully replace him. Corey Peters is currently the starter as he started 15 games for them last year. He was coming off a torn Achilles the year before. If he doesn’t improve, they need a replacement.
- Quarterback – I mentioned in the last article that there were a couple exceptions to the rules of pointing out a need for a backup. In that article, it was Drew Brees, in this one, it’s Carson Palmer. They avoided the Palmer retirement this offseason, they may not avoid next year.
- Wide Receiver – Just like with Palmer, Larry Fitzgerald considered retirement this offseason. There is a good chance that both Palmer and Fitz walk off into the sunset next offseason. The Cards have a lot of speed WRs but need a big guy to be a red zone target.
13th – Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
45th – Chris Wormley, DE, Michigan
77th – Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Los Angeles Rams (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 37th and 69th.
- Wide Receiver – It seems like WR has been a position of need for the Rams for as long as I can remember. Tavon Austin is a good slot guy, but not great on the outside. Robert Woods was signed this offseason, but I don’t consider him that good. A pick at WR is desperately needed.
- Tight End – A couple of years ago, the Rams had Jared Cook. Last year, a safety valve probably would have helped their rookie QB Jared Goff progress a little better. Hopefully, they can get him a dependable guy in the middle of the field for this yea0072.
- Safety – Lamarcus Joyner will start at FS. It appears that they could give Maurice Alexander a shot at winning the SS spot. However, this draft is strong with safeties, so they can sure up their secondary with a 3rd round pick.
37th – Juju Smith-Schuster, WR, USC
69th – Marcus Maye, S, Florida
San Francisco 49ers (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 2nd, 34th, 66th.
- Quarterback – Brian Hoyer will start the year as the starting QB. They could wait till next year and make a run at Kirk Cousins, who they flirted with this year. However, newly appointed GM John Lynch seems to be smitten with Notre Dame QB Deshone Kizer.
- 2 Cornerbacks – Even before they recently released their #1 CB Tramaine Brock, the 49ers had a need at CB. Now they may need at least 2 CBs. They have so many different needs, that it’s hard to predict if they go CB, with the #2 overall pick, or with a DE.
- Defensive End – Speaking of DE, the best ways to turn your team around if getting the offensive and defensive lines set. The Niners are switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3, and do have Eli Harold and Aaron Lynch, but neither has lived up to their full potential yet.
- Wide Receiver – Pierre Garcon was a great signing, but for a team that is this bad, not sure it makes too much sense. Jeremy Kerley is a pretty solid slot WR, but Marquise Goodwin does nothing for me.
- Right Tackle – Joe Staley is a good LT, but Trent Brown is still a project. They may let him try to win the starting job, but they will likely take a mid-round tackle to at least chance him. He’s only 23, so they may roll the dice with the 7th
- Defensive Tackle – Another possibility for the #2 overall pick is DT. If they go CB, likely Lattimore. Should they go DE, it is likely Solomon Thomas. If they go DT, likely Jonathan Allen. Long story short, the 49ers pick will shape the rest of the draft and no one knows what they will do.
- Linebacker – This is a need, but not as big as the other spots above. They still have Navorro Bowman and Ahmad Brook, but both are getting older. Also, even if both can still produce, they need a 3rd.
2nd –Marshon Latimore, CB, Ohio State
34th – Deshone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame
66th – Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
Seattle Seahawks (picks in the 1st 3 rounds) – 26th, 58th, 90th, 102nd, 106th.
- Left Tackle – It’s pretty obvious that the Seahawks had big issues on their offensive line. George Fant is only 24 years old, but he was horrendous last year. Germain Ifedi will play RT this year, but he’s probably best at G. That tells you how bad the OT situation is in Seattle.
- Cornerback – Even if they decide to keep Richard Sherman, the Seahawks will still need someone to start on the other side of him. If Seahawks deal Sherman this week, this becomes a big need. Probably for even 2 picks.
- Guard – With Ifedi at RT, they need a G to take his place. As I said earlier, the Seahawks biggest issue was the offensive line. The good news is they have 5 picks in the 1st 3 rounds. Selecting 2 OL within those 5 would go a huge way towards helping QB Russell Wilson and new RB Eddie Lacy.
- Linebacker – Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright are arguably 2 of the top 20, if not top 10 LBs in the league, but the 3rd spot is currently being filled by Kevin Pierre-Louis. Because they have so many picks early, this can be addressed, even though it’s not a drastic need in their system.
26th – Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
58th – Alex Anzalone, LB, Florida
90th – Cameron Sutton, CB, Tennessee
102nd – Derek Rivers, DE, Youngstown State
106th – Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State
With that, we are now done with the entire NFC for Team Needs. Does this mean you can now go out and beat teams for the Superbowl? No. But if there are no holes, no injuries, and they get a lucky enough schedule, anything can happen. It’s the NFL. Of course, it doesn’t stop here as next up we move on to the AFC, starting with the East. So, if you are a fan of an AFC team, stay tuned. If you are an NFC team fan, enjoy the draft.