NFC West Preview
The first year of DeAndre Hopkins in Arizona brought great joy to Cardinals fans, as the wide receiver posted 1407 yards on 115 catches, while tacking on six touchdowns.
After a disappointing 8-8 season, the Cardinals had a stellar off-season, signing free agents J.J. Watt, A.J. Green and James Conner. In the draft, they solidified their linebacking corps by selecting Tulsa’s Zaven Collins in the first round, and they addressed the holes in the secondary with Florida cornerback Marco Wilson and Central Florida’s Tay Gowan.
Los Angeles Rams
The ‘City of Angels’ has its new quarterback.
After receiving Matthew Stafford from Detroit in the trade of Jared Goff, the Rams look to be in a better position offensively with Stafford under center. After acquiring offensive weapons like DeSean Jackson and Sony Michel, don’t be surprised if this is the league’s number one offense when the postseason rolls around.
With the departures of Michael Brockers and Troy Hill, LA had some work to do in the draft, but they were able to score prospects like South Carolina linebacker Ernest Jones and Texas A&M defensive tackle Bobby Brown III, who will play amongst the likes of stars such as Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey.
San Francisco 49ers
Two years removed from the Super Bowl, and after an injury-plagued 2020 season, the Niners look to bounce back with all 11 offensive and defensive starters ready for Week 1.
On paper, San Francisco has arguably the best roster in pro football, and with the draft selections of quarterback Trey Lance, running back Trey Sermon and offensive lineman Aaron Banks, they only seem to get better. Although head coach Kyle Shanahan has yet to name a starting quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance make a great 1-2 punch and open the possibility for a dual-quarterback system in California.
With the 14th easiest schedule and a near-perfectly healthy depth-chart, the Niners will aim to return to another Super Bowl.
The 2020 division champions have yet to have any true postseason success in almost a decade, and with Russell Wilson nearing his 33 birthday, Seattle is in a win-now mode this season.
With minimal draft capital and no big-name free agent signings, the Seahawks are once again banking on Wilson to have an MVP caliber season, which should be no issue considering DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are his top two targets. Seattle’s biggest issue is their weak offensive line, one that allowed 47 sacks last year.
If they want Wilson to stay on the field, they need offensive tackle Duane Brown to lead the troops, stay healthy and ideally sign an extension after this year.
Carlos Garcia is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email him at email@example.com.