The San Francisco 49ers had a good draft filling holes that upgraded the offense and defense. But what about the rest of the NFC West? Did any team do anything for this upcoming season to change the dynamics of the power structure in the division? Let’s take a team by team look:
The Cardinals have reined atop of the NFC West the last two years however that was with Kurt Warner under center. With Warner retired and Matt Leinart now the starting quarterback the offensive side of the football has been downgraded. Throw-in the trade of WR Anquan Boldin the Cardinals do not look as strong as recent years. With their first pick in the draft the Cardinals went with defensive lineman Dan Williams who will be a great D-lineman and most likely torment the Niners for years. Even with the pick the Cardinals lost DB Antrel Rolle and LB Karlos Dansby to free agency which weakened the D but made up for it somewhat by trading for DB Kerry Rhodes. Overall the Cardinals did not do enough to make up for the lost of some key players and with Leinart unproven and entering his first season as the full-time starter the Cardinals are not the favorites going into the season.
New head coach Pete Carroll had a great first-round in the NFL draft. They did have the sixth and fourteenth picks in the draft so you really can’t go wrong with any player drafted unless you are the Oakland Raiders. The Seahawks drafted the best offensive tackle in the draft, Russell Okung, and selected the best safety Earl Thomas. A trade for RB LenDale White also helps with the offense but the Seahawks still have Matt Hasselbeck as their quarterback who has the skills to win games and lead his team to the division title but his body is aging, he is 34, and has been unable to hold up through a full season the last two seasons missing 9 games to injuries.
The Rams were the most talked about team during the draft because they had the number one pick. Some say that is a blessing, some say it is not especially when you need a quarterback. However even with the selection of QB Sam Bradford the Rams will not be contending anytime soon. They did well in the second round by selecting offensive tackle Rodger Saffold but he and Bradford are not going to turn the Rams into winners next season. Unless your name is Steven Jackson there is not much to be excited about on the team. Bradford will most likely start at the beginning of the season because the options for the Rams at quarterback are short and will most likely be handing off to Jackson on a majority of plays.
NFC West power structure:
- San Francisco 49ers: Not being a homer here but the 49ers are currently the team most equip to win the division. They have an on-the-rise defense that pound the opponents offense and an upgraded offensive line to protect QB Alex Smith and RB Frank Gore. The key for the 49ers is Smith and how well he plays. He is surround by talent so there are no excuses this season.
- Seattle Seahawks: The potential is there for the Seahawks and they know how to win the division. They do however have Pete Carroll in his first year as the Seahawks coach but that may not be a bad thing for the team. The passion he brings might translate onto the field with the players. The key to the Seahawks winning the division is Hasselbeck’s health. If Hasselbeck goes down during the season so will the Seahawks in the NFC West.
- Arizona Cardinals: Too many key players from the last two seasons are now gone who helped the Cardinals win two straight division titles. The 49ers do not fear the Cardinals beating them twice last season and with Leinart as your quarterback the chances of winning the division are not great.
- St. Louis Rams: The Rams are still the Lams even with Bradford. Bradford will not develop overnight which basically means the Rams have the same looking team as last year that finished 1-15.
Topics: 2010 NFC West Power Structure, 2010 NFL Draft 2010, 2010 NFL Draft: With The 13th And 17th Picks The 49ers Select…, 49ers 2010 Off-season, 49ers 49ers 2009 Season 49ers 2009 Training Camp 49ers Injuries 49ers New Stadium 49ers Offensive Coordinator 49ers Preseason 49ers QB 49ers Quarterback 49ers Training Camp 2009 Free Agency Adam Snyde, 49ers Draft Recap, 49ers Select Safety Taylor Mays With 49th Pick Of 2nd Round, Alex Smith, Anquan Boldin, Anthony Davis, Anthony Dixon, Breaking News: 49ers Select Lineman Mike Iupati With 17th Pick, Dan Williams, Earl Thomas, Frank Gore, Kerry Rhodes, Kurt Warner, Kyle Williams, LenDale White, Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Leinart, Mike Iupati, Mike Singletary, Mike Solari, Nate Byham, Navorro Bowman, NFL Draft 2010, Pete Carroll, Phillip Adams, Rodger Saffold, Ronnie Lott, Russell Okung, Sam Bradford, San Francisco 49ers, Steven Jackson, Taylor Mays, Trent Baalke