Tuesday, April 16, 2013

NFC West Draft Preview

With a week until the NFL Draft, we're taking a look at what to expect from all 32 teams come Draft Day, including some recommended blogs to read and folks to follow on Twitter.

2012 Record: 11-4-1
NFC Champion, Lost Super Bowl to Baltimore

Draft Picks: 31, 34, 61, 74, 93, 128, (131), 157, 173, 180, 237, (246), (252)

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: Matt Maiocco

Draft Preview: The 49ers have everything going right for them. They have a stellar young quarterback that is still on his rookie contract, so they have plenty of cap room to play with. Their team was so deep last year their draft picks didn't even see the field. They won the NFC title and were 5 yards away from winning the Super Bowl. Now, they have the most picks in the 2013 draft. San Francisco has a few holes to address, particularly at safety. San Francisco has the luxury of being able to draft players with injury concerns (like South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore) and stash them on IR without jeopardizing their roster depth.

2012 Record: 11-5
Wild Card, lost to Atlanta in Divisional Round

Draft Picks: 56, 87, 123, 138, 158, 194, 220, 231, (241), (242)

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: 30 Acre Fortress, 12th Man Rising

Draft Preview: Seattle landed the biggest steal of the draft last year in quarterback Russell Wilson, who stepped into the starting role and never looked back. The Hawks came within a half game of the NFC West division title and almost came from behind to beat Atlanta in the playoffs. They traded their first round pick to Minnesota for WR Percy Harvin and added DE Cliff Avril, one of the top free agent pass rushers. This is a young team without many holes, and with only two picks in the Top 100 they will be focusing on adding depth rather than immediate starters.

2012 Record: 7-8-1

Draft Picks: 16, 22, 46, 78, 113, 149, 184, 222

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: Rams Herd (Twitter / Blog), Turf Show Times

Draft Preview: The Rams turned their fortunes around last season, going from a bottom-feeder to a middle of the pack team that has two first-round picks this year thanks to the RGIII trade with Washington. The Rams had a middle-of-the-pack defense but led the league in sacks. St Louis made a big splash in free agency, signing former #1 overall pick Jake Long to anchor their offensive line and protect Sam Bradford. With Bradford protected, the Rams can look to add talent around him at running back and wide receiver. The Rams have some holes at safety and linebacker they should also look to address early in the draft, and with 4 picks in the top 80 there will be plenty of talent available.

2012 Record: 5-11

Draft Picks: 7, 38, 69, 103, 140, 174, 219

Recommended Blogs/Twitter: Raising Zona, AZSportsGuy

Draft Preview: The Cardinals fired Ken Whisenhunt after a disappointing season where they failed to find a quarterback that could actually get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals brought in Carson Palmer as a short term solution but still may look for a quarterback early in the draft to run Bruce Arians' offense. The Cardinals need help on their offensive line and in their linebacking corps. Arizona added Rashard Mendenhall in free agency, but with their offensive line it's hard to say that he will have an impact on the league's worst rushing offense. Arizona's run defense was downright awful last year and they need to find some help in their front seven.

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