The NFC West, albeit a “down” year, remains one of the most intriguing divisions in the NFL as long as Pete Carroll and the Seahawks are there. The Rams’ move to Los Angeles was boring until we finally got to see #1 overall pick Jared Goff take a snap at QB1 (it was still boring after); the Cardinals had a terrible year in which they couldn’t protect Carson Palmer, but second-year running back David Johnson cemented his reputation as one of the most talented backs in the league; and the Niners were irrelevant on the field, but Colin Kaepernick made a ton of noise off it.
Let’s take a look at some of the bigger needs for each team in the West.
Seattle Seahawks (10-5-1 last year)
- We talk a lot about the lack of protection Andrew Luck gets in INDI, but Russell Wilson’s offensive line is just as bad, and maybe worse. They need to upgrade both tackle positions, and address the interior as well, before they get Wilson seriously injured.
- This team was at their best when Marshawn Lynch was carrying the ball — Thomas Rawls hasn’t been able to stay on the field. They need to get back to running the football first, and a new back puts them back on the map as one of the most dangerous teams in the league.
- The Seahawks defense is great, we all know it, but they need to get another backer and an interior pass rusher somewhere in this draft/free agency.
Arizona Cardinals (7-8-1 last year)
- Palmer can’t be the only competent QB on this roster anymore. It was a miracle he got out of last season without a major injury, and the Cardinals need to start looking for the next guy.
- Evan Mathis got hurt and is now a free agent, so the Cardinals need to get someone to replace him. They also need to add some depth all around, especially at the tackle positions.
- This group got a lot of hype heading into the season, but drastically underperformed. Michael Floyd was cut after being arrested, John Brown couldn’t stay on the field, and Larry Fitzgerald can’t play forever.
- Calais Campbell is likely leaving in FA — Cardinals need to get a pass rusher or two.
Other Needs: LB, Safety, Corner
LA Rams (4-12 last year)
- Jared Goff will get a full season to show what he’s got next year, but he needs more reliable receivers than Kenny Britt (free agent) and Tavon Austin to grow. The Rams need some offensive cornerstones.
- The Rams need to address multiple positions on the offensive line.
Other Needs: Secondary help, RB
San Francisco 49ers (2-14 last year)
- The Niners need to sign a QB, regardless if they make a run at someone in FA.
- A QB needs someone to throw to, and the Niners have no true #1. They can use a couple via the draft.
- The Niners need a pass rush desperately. They also were the worst defense against the run once NaVorro Bowman went down — they need to address their interior defensive line as well.
Other Needs: Offensive Line, Corner, Kicker