The NFC West is one of the powerhouse divisions in the NFL. With the Rams acquiring Matthew Stafford, the Seahawks bolstering their pass rush, the Cardinals making free agency headlines, and the 49ers moving into the top three in the 2021 NFL Draft, the west just got even better. Executing the draft properly is crucial for each of these teams as it could be the difference between first and last in a division this competitive.
Los Angeles Rams
Round 2: Pick 57
Round 3: Pick 88
Pick 3: Pick 103 (Compensatory)
Round 4: Pick 141 (Compensatory)
Round 6: Pick 209
Round 7: Pick 252
The Rams are going without yet another year without a first round pick. This might not be as much of a worry considering they hit on guys like Cam Akers, Taylor Rapp, Brian Allen, and John Franklin-Myers outside of the first round. As far as draft needs go they have a couple needs. Inside linebacker is the number one need for the Rams, their defense will be held back until they can get an upgrade at that position. Behind ILB, a defensive end opposite Aaron Donald is a massive hole. Team can attack the right side of the line unless they get a big man opposite Donald. The third biggest need is an outside linebacker opposite Leonard Floyd. The Rams just threw the bag at Leonard so they must try to fill the hole on the other side. Terrell Lewis is a high upside in house possibility but I am not ready just yet to trust his health.
Best Fit: IDL Dayvion Nixon
Round 1: Pick 16
Round 2: Pick 49
Round 5: Pick 160
Round 6: Pick 223
Round 7: Pick 243
Round 7: Pick 247
The Cardinals made a lot of big moves in free agency. They aren’t going anywhere if they can’t fill some holes in the draft. Probably at the top of that list is cornerback. With Malcolm Butler on a one year deal and with Robert Alford not playing a snap since 2018, the Cardinals can’t role with their current squad in 2021. The next biggest hole is tight end. With the G.O.A.T. Dan Arnold gone, the Cardinals can’t be content with Maxx Williams. More specifically, the Cards need a pass catching tight end. Opposite JJ Watt, the Cardinals need a defensive end who can hold down the right side in both the run game and the passing game. Another outside pass rushing linebacker would be a great pick too.
Best Fit: Caleb Farley
Round 2: Pick 56
Round 4: Pick 129
Round 7: Pick 250
The Seahawks are thin on draft picks, in fact they have the least picks of any team in the draft. After this trade for Jamal Adams, they are without their first for this year and if they hope to compete in this division, they must hit on all three of their draft picks. At the very top of their list of needs is cornerback. They are rolling with Ahkello Witherspoon and Tre Flowers as their starters and with guys like DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, Cooper Cupp, Brandon Aiyuk, and Robert Woods in the division, they must grab a cornerback capable of keeping up. A three technique defensive tackle is also a fairly large need for Seattle. After the departure of Jarran Reed, they need some interior push. An athletic center for their run game is also a big need for the Seahawks. They need to get a stiff pass protector who can hang with their run scheme.
Best Fit: Kelvin Joseph
Round 1: Pick 3
Round 2: Pick 43
Round 3: Pick 102 (Compensatory)
Round 4: Pick 117
Round 5: Pick 155
Round 5: Pick 172
Round 5: Pick 180 (Compensatory)
Round 6: Pick 193
Round 7: Pick 229
The 49ers have a wealth of draft picks, a healthy roster, a top three pick, and one of the best coaching staffs in the league. When looking at their roster an upgrade as quarterback is an obvious want. That is exactly what they’ll do with the third overall. Outside of that, another great cornerback would be big for the receiver talent in their division. Another big time wide receiver and an upgrade at either safety positions, would be welcomed additions but honestly aren’t required. The 49ers have an extremely complete roster.
Best Fit: Justin Fields
Projected 2021 NFC West Standings
1.Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are big time with Stafford and if their defense can play even remotely in the same ball park as they did last year, this team is going very far.
Pete Carroll. Russell Wilson. DK Metcalf. End of statement.
3.San Francisco 49ers
Let us not forget that this is a team that went to the super bowl with Jimmy freaking Garropolo. The 49ers are going to compete for a long time with who ever they draft with the third pick.
Kyler Murray this, JJ Watt that, I don’t care. The Cardinals aren’t going anywhere until Kliff Kingsbury is gone. Their pass rush got worse with the loss of Haason Reddick, Malcolm Butler is an astronomical downgrade from Patrick Peterson, and Chase Edmonds is supposed to carry the run game. Sorry Cardinals fans, maybe next year.