NFC West: Quick-take 2020 projection for 49ers, their rivals

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Kyler Murray, Cardinals

Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers will encounter a vastly different NFC West in 2020, thanks to some major shakeups by both the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals. Niner Noise breaks it down.

If one were to dish out NFC West power rankings right now, the San Francisco 49ers would still be on top.

The Niners haven’t made any splashy outside free-agent signings, although they did manage to “keep the band together” for the most part, re-signing defensive end Arik Armstead and safety Jimmie Ward to new deals just before the official start of NFL free agency began. In order to do so, however, San Francisco elected to trade its 2018 Pro Bowler, defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for the No. 13 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Armed with two first-round picks now, head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. can look to upgrade some of the few remaining positions on the roster needing attention.

If one counts wide receiver and cornerback as the top needs, good thing the draft is laden with both positions in deep prospect classes.

Yet the rest of the NFC West saw plenty of massive shakeups, too. In a blockbuster deal with the Houston Texans, the Arizona Cardinals landed three-time All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for next to nothing. Just like that, the upstart Cardinals became far more interesting overnight.

The Los Angeles Rams, meanwhile, were forced to jettison one of their cornerstone pieces, running back Todd Gurley, and the long-term situation in Southern California looks awfully dire, considering some of the contractual situations and lack of draft picks the team has this offseason and beyond.

And how about those Seattle Seahawks? No matter what, they’re seemingly in the playoff mix every year.

Needless to say, the NFC West remains a premier division, and Niner Noise takes a short look at what the 49ers may encounter this season against their divisional foes.

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