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NFC West Draft Day Notes
By Neal Wintermute
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NFC West Draft Day Notes

The Seahawks showed up big time in the playoffs and as a result are 2023 Super Bowl champions. However, the task of defending the crown is going to be daunting. Setting aside from free agent challenges, the Seahawks are replacing several players on the offensive side of the ball.

However, they fill a huge need on the defensive side of the ball first by taking LOLB-Ryan Shazier at 1.23. He was the best available OLB in the draft. He comes with 85 SPD, 72 STR, 84 AGI, and 82 ACC.I think the late 1st round was also a tricky place to be in this draft, so getting someone of value there is an achievement.

The Seahawks then came back in round 2 with the selection of LG-Norman Crane. Crane is a big-bodied OG with the ability to play immediately. He is somewhat limited in his speed and agility, but his strength and acceleration will compensate for his limitations. The bigger picture questions for the Seahawks will be whether or not they can put together a solid enough offensive line to compete.

The once proud Rams franchise looks like they are reengaged in 2024. The Rams were a team build around an elite offensive line and a prolific passing offense. How quickly can they rebound from 2023 remains to be seen, but they selected their QB of the future at 1.10. QB-Derek Carr was the second QB taken in the 2024 draft. Carr has 66 AWR, 94 THP, and 82 THA. He will need some experienced receivers to help him out, but he looks like a potential franchise QB.

The Rams added to the Carr selection with two defensive linemen in round 2. LE-Lester Hamilton is a versatile DE/OLB who will give the Rams options in the front 7, while DT-Julius Bryant also brings versatility but between the DE and DT positions. With the addition of Shea McClellin at RE, the Rams have to believe they have upgraded their front seven significantly.

The Cardinals have had a rough stretch the last three seasons. In 2023 they finished with a 7-9 record and there is still work to be done if they want to compete in the NFC West in 2024. They started their draft off with the selection of LG-Russell Simms at 1.16. Simms is an athletic guard with 64 SPD, 88 STR, 60 AWR, 84 ACC, 82 PBK and 82 RBK.

With Taylor Price starting to age, the Cardinals went WR with 2.13 and selected WR-Darnay Johnson. Johnson is 6'1", 232 lbs, 91 SPD, 72 STR, 92 AGI, 79 CTH, and 92 JMP. He should be a hard guy to defend once he learns the position better. The only physical weakness he has is his slow acceleration.

They had three third round picks as well, the final one they used to select LE-L.J. Shelton. He has some promise as a future starting LE. Shelton has 82 SPD, 69 STR, 78 AGI, and 82 ACC.

The 49ers have had a really good draft this year, but the team needs it because there are several holes to fill. The 49ers strayed from conventional wisdom and took a TE at 1.17. Eric Ebron brings outstanding athleticism as a pass catching TE. He's 6'4", 87 SPD, 66 STR, 66 AWR, 87 ACC, 82 CTH, and 82 JMP and despite the Dolphins denial that he wasn't #1 on their board, I still suspect he would have gone at 1.32 if not sooner had the 49ers not taken him. The second round saw them add C-Jerry Bundy. Athletic centers are scarce in the RZL, so getting Bundy in the 2nd round isn't as far fetched as it first looks. The 49ers went QB in round 3 with QB-Matt Green. He's 6'6" with 67 AWR, 92 THP, and 76 THA. The question about Green is whether or not he can progress enough in his accuracy to be a starting QB in this league.
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