The Cardinals came tantalizingly close to making the postseason in 2013 and will be eager to add the sort of talent that can help them make the leap in 2014. That will be difficult to do in the NFC West, which is arguably the best division in the NFL. Loading up on offensive line might be a priority, as could adding more talent to a defense already loaded with playmakers.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Feb. 21: Arians: Manziel's height poses 'a question mark'
For all the fuss that has been made over Johnny Manziel's height, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has a message: It's all warranted. "There are a bunch of 6-5 successful guys who are athletic," Arians said. "The 5-11 guys, it has to throw a question mark out there."
Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Feb. 20: Mayock: Is offensive tackle the route?
On a conference call with reporters, NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock broke down the Cardinals' options at pick No. 20 in the first round of the draft, saying, "I think Zack Martin is going somewhere in that range, plus or minus 20. If he's available, do the Cardinals buy into him as a tackle? The beauty in this kid is he can play all five positions in the NFL and some teams look at him as a Pro Bowl guard."
St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams figure to be one of the busiest teams in the upcoming draft. Thanks to a trade made with the Washington Redskins to they could select Robert Griffin III in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Rams own the No. 2 overall selection in addition to their No. 13 overall pick.
Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
March 7: Cosell: Robinson best fit for Rams
Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews appear to be the favorites for the Rams' No. 2 pick, but NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell says that Robinson's stellar run-blocking ability makes him a better fit for the team. NFL Media analyst Mike Mayock also said Robinson makes sense for the Rams, and that Robinson might have helped himself more than any prospect in pro days this week.
Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
March 5: Rams show interest in top OTs at pro days
Rams offensive line coach Paul Boudreau spent extensive time with two of the draft's top offensive tackles on back-to-back pro days: Auburn's Greg Robinson on Tuesday and Matthews on Wednesday. Both are in contention to be the first offensive tackle taken in the draft, and NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah has identified the position as one of the Rams' biggest needs. NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock has said that Matthews would be a logical pick for the Rams at No. 2.
Feb. 26: Pair of safeties on Rams' radar
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix of Alabama and Calvin Pryor of Louisville are considered the top two safeties in the draft, and both had formal interviews with the Rams at the NFL Scouting Combine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Feb. 25: Rams interviewed Watkins
The Rams are sitting pretty at No. 2 overall in the 2014 NFL Draft first-round order and are seemingly in "best available" mode with a roster already possessing some strong talent. At the NFL Scouting Combine, the projected top receiver in the draft -- Watkins -- was one of the players interviewed by the Rams, coach Jeff Fisher said.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Feb. 21: Rapoport: Rams studying up Clowney
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports that the Rams -- who own two draft picks in the top of half of the first round, including the No. 2 overall selection -- are doing background investigating on Clowney.
Dec. 30: Rams hint No. 2 overall pick could be had via trade
Is history about to repeat itself? The Rams traded the No. 2 overall draft pick to a team desperate for a franchise quarterback before the 2012 draft. Now, the Rams again have the No. 2 overall draft pick and general manager Les Snead hinted he is open to moving that pick once again.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are loaded at virtually every position group, but -- despite already possessing Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree -- could use a receiver that can stretch the field vertically. Defensive line might also be an area addressed in the offseason given that productive, yet aging, defensive lineman Justin Smith can't play forever.
Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
March 5: 49ers meet with Evans
Evans has talked to the 49ers, who might be on the lookout for playmaking receivers in the draft. However, Evans also believes that he will be a top-10 draft pick -- recent mock drafts on NFL.com have Evans going anywhere from No. 9 to No. 13. That would require the 49ers -- who own the No. 30 overall pick in the first round -- to make an aggressive move up via a trade.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
March 4: Garoppolo has private workout with Harbaugh
San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was at Northwestern's pro day, reportedly to watch Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo in a private workout. Garoppolo, who is Mike Mayock's No. 5-rated quarterback, was at Northwestern's pro day because Eastern Illinois did not have its own event. The 49ers currently have only two quarterbacks on their roster -- starter Colin Kaepernick and McLeod Bethel-Thompson. They have the 30th pick in the first round.
Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Florida State
Feb. 24: 49ers prefer players with long arms
The 49ers take some of the measureables from the NFL Scouting Combine seriously, notably the length of a player's arms, The Sacramento Bee reports. Four of the team's draft picks in 2013 had arms 34 inches or longer, and the team's first-round pick -- Eric Reid -- had 33 5/8-inch arms (longest among safeties in the 2013 draft class). With a need at wide receiver, Benjamin (34 7/8-inch arms) could be in play for the team's No. 30 overall selection.
Michael Sam, DE, Missouri
Feb. 10: Smith: 49ers a good fit for Sam
NFL Media analyst Matt "Money" Smith says, "The generic, obvious answer is the San Francisco 49ers. They run the 3-4, it's a historically trailblazing market for gay rights, and Jim Harbaugh is the sort of no-nonsense head coach that wouldn't allow any distractions to alter his team's focus."
The Seahawks dump trucked the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII in one of the most impressive championship victories in the game's history. However, it's time for the champions to reload, and there are areas of needs on this deep and young roster. A big-time tight end would be a nice luxury for quarterback Russell Wilson, as would a true No. 1 wide receiver. Offensive line could be addressed in the draft, too.
Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State
March 2: Bucannon mimics Seahawks' talented safeties
Residing in the same state as the Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seahawks, Bucannon has followed the progress of the team's famed "Legion of Boom" secondary and acknowledged to the Seattle Times that the team's Pro Bowl safeties have supplied him with a blueprint for success in the NFL.
Feb. 26: What options might Seahawks have at pick No. 32?
As the draft order stands now, the Seahawks will wrap up the festivities from Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, May 8 with the final pick in the first round. While some of the premier talent will be long gone, the Seattle Times speculates which players that would fill a team need that might still be available, a list that includes wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Brandin Cooks, guards David Yankey and Xavier Su'a-Filo and tight end Jace Amaro.
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Feb. 21: Carroll: Watkins great, but not because of speed
Watkins is planning to dominate in the NFL Scouting Combine, but don't count on Pete Carroll being among those obsessing over his 40-yard dash time, or about how he fares in any other drill. Not to say that he won't be impressed by his results. Carroll just knows there's much more to Watkins' game than blazing speed.
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