Draft Needs  


NFC West draft needs: Jared Goff or Carson Wentz to Rams?


With the 2016 NFL Draft on tap at the end of this month, Bucky Brooks is breaking down the biggest areas of need for every team in the NFL, division by division. Below is his look at the NFC West.

Arizona Cardinals (6 total picks)

» Round 1: Pick 29 overall
» Round 3: Pick 92
» Round 4: Pick 128
» Round 5: Picks 167 and 170 (compensatory selection)
» Round 6: Pick 205

Biggest needs: center, defensive back, edge rusher.

The Cardinals came up short on Championship Sunday last season, but the team is poised to make another legitimate run in 2016 with a few roster tweaks. The lack of a young, athletic center could prompt Arizona to take an extended look at Alabama's Ryan Kelly on Day 1 -- or the Cards could settle for a quality mid-round option like Oregon State's Isaac Seumalo or Michigan's Graham Glasgow. On defense, they need to find a lockdown corner opposite Patrick Peterson to continue to suffocate premier pass catchers on the perimeter. Thus, Houston's William Jackson III, Ohio State's Eli Apple and Clemson's Mackensie Alexander could garner consideration in the first round. If the Cardinals wait until Day 2, Baylor's Xavien Howard, Maryland's Sean Davis and Clemson's T.J. Green are viable options. The Cards traded for Chandler Jones, which certainly gives the pass rush a boost, but they could use another young dynamic rusher off the edge to complement Markus Golden. This puts Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence and Oklahoma State's Emmanuel Ogbah in the mix.

Los Angeles Rams (5 total picks)

» Round 1: Pick 1 overall (from Titans)
» Round 4: Picks 110 and 113 (from Eagles through Titans)
» Round 6: Picks 177 (from Titans) and 190

Biggest needs: quarterback, wide receiver, cornerback.

Despite coach Jeff Fisher's strong support of Case Keenum this offseason, let's be honest: The Rams remain a quarterback away from playoff contention. This explains their blockbuster trade for the No. 1 overall pick. The team desperately needs a franchise quarterback with the talent to add an explosive dimension to the offense. North Dakota State's Carson Wentz and Cal's Jared Goff appear to have separated themselves as the top two signal callers in this draft class. Who's more likely to come off the board at No. 1 overall? That remains to be seen, as we've seen conflicting reports about Los Angeles' primary interest. But the Rams have been doing their due diligence on both, as reported by my colleague Michael Silver. The trade for the top selection wiped out a lot of extra draft currency, but the Rams could find a value-pick pass catcher on Day 3. Western Michigan's Daniel Braverman, Colorado State's Rashard Higgins, Clemson's Charone Peake and German Football League prospect Moritz Boehringer could garner consideration.

San Francisco 49ers (12 total picks)

» Round 1: Pick 7 overall
» Round 2: Pick 37
» Round 3: Pick 68
» Round 4: Picks 105 and 133 (compensatory selection)
» Round 5: Picks 142 (from Chargers), 145 and 174 (compensatory selection)
» Round 6: Picks 178 (from Cowboys), 207 (from Broncos), 211 and 213 (both compensatory selections)

Biggest needs: inside linebacker, quarterback, wide receiver.

The Chip Kelly era begins in San Francisco, but the team's dismal results will continue unless the Niners land a few blue-chip players in the draft. The franchise is still reeling from the losses of Chris Borland and Patrick Willis in the middle, so landing a rugged "traffic cop" is critical to rebuilding the defense. UCLA's Myles Jack would be a perfect fit, but the 49ers probably would need to move up the charts to land the electric playmaker. Ohio State's Joshua Perry, Arizona's Scooby Wright III and Missouri's Kentrell Brothers could be options in the middle rounds. If the 49ers do indeed part ways with Colin Kaepernick, they could make a play for a quarterback in Round 1 (depending on who's available between Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and maybe Paxton Lynch). Or, on Day 2, Mississippi State's Dak Prescott could garner interest as a dual-threat playmaker capable of running the 49ers' new up-tempo offense. At wide receiver, the 49ers are in the market for a dependable "chain mover" after Anquan Boldin's exit. Thus, Ohio State's Michael Thomas, Pittsburgh's Tyler Boyd and Rutgers' Leonte Carroo could be in play.

Seattle Seahawks (9 total picks)

» Round 1: Pick 26 overall
» Round 2: Pick 56
» Round 3: Picks 90 and 97 (compensatory selection)
» Round 4: Pick 124
» Round 5: Pick 171 (compensatory selection)
» Round 6: Pick 215 (compensatory selection)
» Round 7: Picks 225 (from Cowboys) and 247

Biggest needs: offensive tackle, defensive tackle, defensive end.

Finding a blind-side protector for Russell Wilson is a top priority following Russell Okung's departure in free agency. The Seahawks are unlikely to land one of the draft's premier offensive tackles on Day 1, but Indiana's Jason Spriggs, Texas A&M's Germain Ifedi and Texas Tech's Le'Raven Clark could be possibilities as front-line starters. On defense, the Seahawks could turn their attention to fortifying the D-line with a few athletic disruptors on the interior. Mississippi's Robert Nkemdiche, Penn State's Austin Johnson, Mississippi State's Chris Jones, Notre Dame's Sheldon Day and Ohio State's Adolphus Washington could add some sizzle to the lineup. At defensive end, Eastern Kentucky's Noah Spence, Florida's Jonathan Bullard or Oklahoma's Charles Tapper could fill a role as a designated rusher off the edge.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.



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