April is starting to slip by and the NFL Draft is approaching. Who will be the top pick? Who will slide farther than everyone thought? Who is going to be a surprise selection?
These are all examples of questions I won’t necessarily be answering. The NFC West is one of the more intriguing storylines of this draft.
Two of the teams have the top two picks in the draft, and the other two have picks in the bottom third. This is a tale of two good teams and two teams trying to rise up. So, let’s look at what these teams need to be looking for in the draft.
The Cardinals hold the number one pick in the draft this year, and people are split on if they will take Kyler Murray or not. It will be hard for them to make a bad pick in this draft because they have needs all over the field.
The Cardinals need help with their pass rush, their pass defense, their run defense, their passing game and their offensive line. They are a little bit of a mess right now, and I think Murray would be the best selection for them if they can get a late-first or early-second-round pick from someone for Josh Rosen.
They have so many holes that a mobile quarterback can help take some of the pressure of the offensive line. The Cardinals are in a great position in this draft and I think it would be hard to mess it up.
Los Angeles Rams
This is a team that made it to the Super Bowl and had one of the best offenses we have seen in a few years. The Rams still have the offensive firepower they had last year so they don’t need to focus too much on the offensive side.
Their top needs are run and pass defense, with backup running back, impact tight end and another offensive lineman as the second tier of importance for them. The Rams needed CJ Anderson to step up in the playoffs for Todd Gurley, and they might need that from someone else this year if Gurley goes down again.
The defense, however, is by far the number one priority, at least from my perspective. They have so much talent on that defense that I don’t know if it is a chemistry issue or a coaching issue that is holding them back. They could barely stop anyone when it mattered.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have the second pick in the draft, but they have a much more talented team than the Cardinals. They should not be afraid to spend another top pick on a defensive lineman, though.
They have picked up some good players but haven’t hit a home run with Arik Armstead, Deforest Buckner or Solomon Thomas. These guys aren’t busts yet; they just haven’t produced up to their potential.
The 49ers need to take the best pass rusher available, unless someone offers them a great trade package that lets them pick up more selections since this draft is so deep in pass rushers; there is a drop off after the first four or so, but the second-tier guys are still impact starters waiting to be drafted.
San Francisco needs help with their offensive line, their receiving corps and their defense. They need to come out of this draft with playmakers on offense and producers on defense to take this team to the next level.
Seattle is another team that has a lot of holes. They need to improve their offensive line (big surprise), their pass and run defense, and with Doug Baldwin’s surgery they need another receiver.
The Seahawks only have four picks right now in the draft, so look for them to move back and get more picks. They need to target a pass rusher and a defensive back early and pick up the rest later on.
The Seahawks are looking for someone to rush the passer opposite Frank Clark and they need a safety to step up other than Bradley McDougald. Now, they are in the market for a slot cornerback as well with Justin Coleman’s departure.
This team is good but still needs to make some moves to make the playoffs in 2019.