NFC West preseason player grades, Week 2

Preseason football is here -- and while wins and losses mean nothing, individual performances can mean everything. As the preseason slate progresses, Bucky Brooks will be assessing the performances of notable players, handing out grades to provide context for the prior week's on-field action.

Below, find report cards for one key player from each NFC West team following Week 2's preseason action.


ARIZONA CARDINALS: Brandon Williams, cornerback. The feisty rookie corner is starting to settle into his role as the CB2 opposite Patrick Peterson. Williams not only played with better eye discipline and footwork in coverage against the Chargers in Week 2 than he did against the Raiders in Week 1, but he was more aggressive to the ball when quarterbacks attacked his side. The third-round pick finished the night with a pair of break-ups and registered a tackle for loss on a Travis Benjamin wide receiver run. As he continues to get more comfortable playing on the island without safety help or underneath cutter, Williams is showing scouts that he definitely has the tools to be an effective first-year starter. GRADE: B

LOS ANGELES RAMS: Jared Goff, quarterback. The No. 1 overall pick is still in the mix for the starting job, but it is apparent that he might be better served to begin the season on the bench as an apprentice to Case Keenum. Despite having more physical ability and arm talent than the veteran, Goff's indecision prevents the offense from rolling under his direction. He also remains careless with the football in the pocket (two fumbles, including one lost, against the Chiefs on Saturday), which is problematic for a team that wants to rely on a conservative approach (running game and defense) to win in the rugged NFC West. Now, Goff did make a couple of nice throws off play action that showcased his talents, but he needs to be more consistent and accurate to unseat Keenum as the starter. GRADE: C+

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Marcus Rush, linebacker. Whenever a defender registers a hat trick during the preseason, coaches will stand up and take notice. That's why Rush is probably making a move up the charts after notching three sacks against the Broncos on Saturday, one of which led to a turnover on a fumble. The blue-collar rusher outworked blockers at the point of attack to repeatedly knock down Denver quarterbacks in the backfield. After spending 2015 working on his skills on the practice squad, the second-year pro could carve out a role as a situational player off the edge. GRADE: A

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Jarran Reed, defensive tackle. The Seahawks' defense could get even better with an athletic big body wreaking having on the interior. That is, if Reed's performance against the Vikings on Thursday is an accurate gauge of his talent and potential as a bulldozer at the point of attack. The 6-3, 311-pound defensive tackle showed outstanding strength and power holding the point, but he also flashed some lateral quickness pursuing down the line. Although the second-round pick finished the night with three tackles, it was his ability to eat up blockers and allow the Seahawks' linebackers to flow freely to the ball that could make him a key contributor as a rookie. GRADE: B