NFC West Team Needs
A tale of two cities, to say the least, the once prominent Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals are no longer running the division due to the loss of many key players from their glory days. With that being said, the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers look to build off their early success with the young nuclei they have in place.
CB, DE, S, LT, WR,
The decision to cut Richard Sherman has been in the works for some time, which means that the Seahawks must find immediate help at the cornerback position to fill the void the All-Pro left behind. Seattle’s defense will also be without Michael Bennett this upcoming season, as he was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles. Safety Earl Thomas has hinted towards leaving the team next offseason, so the proactive move would be to find a potential replacement in the draft before his possible departure. Flipping it over to the offense, Russell Wilson will be without red zone extraordinaire Jimmy Graham, but Nick Vannett and Ed Dickson look to carry the workload at the position. The two biggest needs on Seattle’s offense are finding a replacement for aging left tackle Duane Brown and adding wide receiver depth.
QB, WR, T, S, LB
The Arizona Cardinals currently have Sam Bradford in place to be the starting quarterback, but his injury history suggests they should look to the draft to find their quarterback for the future. While Larry Fitzgerald is still getting it done, there’s little to no production after him on the depth chart, which means the Cardinals will certainly address the wide receiver position come draft night. DJ Humphries has been questionable at best for the Cardinals, so drafting tackle depth will help create competition at the position. It will be near impossible to find a player that will impact the game as much as Tyrann Mathieu did for Arizona. While Budda Baker is an exciting, young player for the Cardinals, there’s a dire need for another starting safety to play alongside him. Karlos Dansby isn’t getting any younger, so acquiring another linebacker to pair with Haason Reddick will create an enticing tandem for years to come.
Los Angeles Rams-
Edge rusher, ILB, LG, LT, RB
The Los Angeles Rams have been very busy this offseason. Despite acquiring Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and Ndamukong Suh, they also shipped out Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree. While the defense is loaded with talent, the recent trades indicate that the Rams must look for a new edge rusher and middle linebacker. As for the offense that took massive leaps under head coach Sean McVay last season, the left side of the offensive line still has work to do. Rodger Saffold is the only left guard on the Rams roster, and left tackle Andrew Whitworth most likely has only a few more years left in the tank. Todd Gurley was arguably the best running back in the NFL last season, but that shouldn’t stop the Rams from drafting another player to give Gurley a breather every once in a while.
San Francisco 49ers-
WR, RB, LB, CB, FS,
The rise of Jimmy Garoppolo has made the San Francisco 49ers one of the most exciting teams to look out for this upcoming season. General manager John Lynch understands that adding more dynamic weapons on the outside will take this offense to new heights. Signing Jerick McKinnon was a very underrated move by the 49ers this offseason; that being said, acquiring another backfield player to pair up with McKinnon could make for a lethal running attack. Drafting a game-changing linebacker (perhaps Tremaine Edmunds or Roquan Smith) to play alongside Reuben Foster and Eli Harold will turn around this 49ers’ defense. While signing Richard Sherman was an outstanding move, finding another cornerback to start with him should be towards the top of San Francisco’s priorities. With Eric Reid remaining unsigned, the free safety position is in need of a replacement.
Hunter Pitcoff is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Contributors
Senior / Journalism
Hunter Pitcoff is involved in multiple clubs and organizations in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. He is the Executive Producer and On-Camera Personality for Penn State Sports Night, the News Producer for PSN News, and member of the Centre County Report. Hunter holds a part-time live events support position with Penn State Athletics, too. On top of that, he also does a weekly radio show with CommRadio called “The Shootaround”, and hosts the podcasts “Ball Don’t Lie” and “Run N’Gun” with Penn State Sports Night. Hunter hopes to pursue a career in the sports media industry when he graduates in 2021.