Michael Meegan with a review of the NFC West’s draft classes…
Seattle SeahawksDrafted Players – LB Jordyn Brooks, DE Darrell Taylor, OG Damien Lewis, TE Colby Parkinson, RB Deejay Dallas, DE Alton Robinson, WR Freddie Swain, TE Stephen Sullivan.
Player Fits – Brooks was a surprise in the first round but Seattle desperately needed help in the LB core alongside Bobby Wagner. The Seahawks two biggest holes are at pass rush and offensive line and their counting on Taylor, Robinson and Lewis to provide some much needed depth in those positions. With injuries always at the running back position Deejay Dallas gives them a good change of pace from Chris Carson. Swain, Sullivan, and Parkinson are good athletes who excel at making plays down the field and its good to see Seattle continue to put young athletes around Russell Wilson like they did with DK Metcalf last year.
Draft Grade – B- Its hard to crush Seahawks drafts because while their player value is normally well against the norm they win 9 games or more every year. I did not love the players they took but I like the positions they addressed and Pete Carroll is a really good coach who is going to get the most out of this group as it is a young team outside of their QB.
Arizona CardinalsDrafted Players – LB Isaiah Simmons, OT Josh Jones, DT Rashard Lawrence, DT Leki Fotu, LB Evan Weaver, RB Eno Benjamin.
Player Fits – Isiah Simmons was the ultimate Swiss army knife of the draft as he can play a multitude of positions. Josh Jones was great value in the 3rd round as the Cardinals Offensive line is still a work in progress. Lawrence, Fotu, and Weaver provide much needed front 7 depth as the Cardinals struggled against the run and Eno Benjamin is a fun RB to add to their stable who finished as the second most efficient rushing attack in football in 2019.
Draft Grade – B The Cardinals did a really good job adding value this draft. Simmons was one of the best players in the draft so snagging him at 8 was great value. Jones has a good chance to be their starting LT for the next decade so he was a steal in the 3rd round. It should also be taken into account they traded their 2nd round pick for Deandre Hopkins and getting an All Pro WR for a day 2 pick was an incredible trade.
San Francisco 49ersDrafted Players – DT Javon Kinlaw, WR Brandon Aiyuk, OL Colton McKivitz, TE Charlie Woerner, WR Jauan Jennings-
Player Fits – The 2 biggest departures for the 49ers were Deforest Buckner and Emmanuel Sanders and they replaced them with like for like swaps in Kinlaw and Aiyuk. McKivitz and Woerner give them depth at two positions they struggled with injuries last year and Jennings is a an extremely physical receiver who can provide Jimmy G with a nice red zone weapon.
Draft Grades – B+ 49ers had a small draft class but got some really nice value. Kinlaw is a special player and should be a star right away playing on that loaded D Line and Aiyuk was the best YAC receiver in the entire draft and is perfect for Kyle Shanahan’s offense. They also used draft picks to trade for Trent Williams who is an upgrade over the recently retired Joe Staley.
Los Angeles Rams
Drafted Players – RB Cam Akers, WR Van Jefferson, Edge Terrell Lewis, S Terell Burgess, TE Brycen Hopkins, S Jordan Fuller, LB Clay Johnston, K Sam Sloman, OL Treymayne Anchrum
Player Fits – The Rams got younger and cheaper with this draft. Akers, Jefferson, and Lewis replace their main outgoings Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, and Dante Fowler Jr. Burgess, Fuller, and Hopkins were brought in for depth as the Rams have guys at safety and tight end who are in contract years. Sloman was brought in to likely replace Greg Zuerlein who departed for Dallas this offseason.
Draft Grade – C- I did not like the Rams draft as their 2019 season was thrown off completely by their horrid offensive line play. They did not make a single pick to improve this unit until round 7. Taking a RB in round 2 after taking one in round 3 in 2019 and keeping a bad O line the unchanged seems like bad team building. Terell Lewis had massive injury concerns coming out of school and Van Jefferson is a 24 year old WR coming off a broken foot who had limited college production.