NFL Draft 2021: NFC West Team Needs
The NFC West is largely considered the most competitive division in all of football right now. The Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks all have an equal chance to win the division, but they all have some holes to fill in the upcoming NFL draft.
Draft Picks: 16, 49, 160, 243, 247
The Cardinals learned this season that they will only go as far as Kyler Murray takes them. When Murray went down with a shoulder injury the whole outlook of the team changed.
To ensure Murray stays as healthy as possible the Cardinals would need another piece on the offensive line. Whether that be a guard or a tackle, a first round talent such as Alijah Vera-Tucker would be a day-one starter over the likes of either Brian Winters or Kelvin Beachum. With Chase Edmunds and James Conner in the backfield the Cardinals could also use a mid-to-late round pick on a third running back to develop.
On the defensive side the Cardinals still need to upgrade the secondary, especially the strong safety position where Charles Washington is projected to start. Another need on the defense is cornerback where they have Malcolm Butler and Robert Alford who has missed the past two seasons with injuries.
Los Angeles Rams
Draft Picks: 57, 88, 103, 141, 209, 252
The Los Angeles Rams went out and acquired one of the toughest players in the NFL in Matthew Stafford to add to their offense. The best way for the Rams to maximize their offensive potential is to take an interior offensive lineman like Josh Myers, Trey Smith or Deonte Brown to help keep Stafford healthy.
There are a lot more holes on defense that could really use upgrades, and they desperately need a free safety as John Johnson was lost in free agency and the depth chart shows Juju Hughes starting for them. They could also use a linebacker who could challenge Ogbonnia Okoronkwo for the weakside linebacker position and depth on the defensive line.
There is no one better than the Rams at continuously finding role players in the middle round of the draft each year.
San Francisco 49ers
Draft Picks: 3, 43, 117, 155, 172, 180, 194, 230
The 49ers will most certainly take either Trey Lance, Mac Jones or Justin Fields with the third overall pick to help solidify their long term offense, but another position they need on offense is a slot receiver. With Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel on the outside the 49ers could use a solid slot option over a rotation of Richie James, Muhamed Sanu, Trent Scherfield and Jalen Hurd.
Defense is a bigger issue as they are in desperate need of an outside linebacker who can be an impact player, and if Nick Bolton is available at pick 43 then a selection there would be a match made in heaven. In the secondary an upgrade over Dontae Johnson would be ideal, as would another defensive lineman such as Milton Williams being added to the mix.
Draft Picks: 56, 129, 250
The Seahawks do not have much to work with this draft in terms of picks, but they do have needs that have to be addressed. One is an upgrade over Penny Hart as the slot receiver, and that could come with the likes of Tylan Wallace or Dyami Brown.
Seattle would also like to add to the offensive line, but they likely will not select an impact player based on where they are picking.
On defense they lost cornerback Shaquill Griffin in free agency and currently have Ahkello Witherspoon and Tre Flowers listed as starters. Both of them missed considerable time over the last two seasons, and Seattle would be wise to add some depth pieces to their roster.
James Morrison is a freshman majoring in communications. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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Second-year / Communications