Rams coach Jeff Fisher (left) and GM Les Snead (right) introduce No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff.
The Cardinals made six selections in last weekend’s NFL draft which they hope will help bolster an already-formidable roster. The other NFC West teams also made their choices, highlighted by the Rams' trade up to secure quarterback Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall selection. Here is a look at how the draft played out for the Cardinals' divisional foes:
LOS ANGELES RAMS
Draft picks:First round – Cal QB Jared Goff; Fourth round – Western Kentucky TE Tyler Higbee, South Carolina WR Pharoh Cooper; Sixth round – South Carolina State TE Temarrick Hemingway, Kentucky ILB Josh Forrest, Southern Mississippi WR Josh Thomas.
Most intriguing selection:Goff. The Rams gave up their first-rounder, two second-rounders and a third-round choice in this year's draft, as well as a first and third in next year's to get the top pick (they also added fourth- and sixth-round picks from the Titans in the trade). They clearly believe Goff is a future star, and it will be interesting to see how quickly he adapts to the NFL. The Rams have a solid defense and a burgeoning star at running back in Todd Gurley, so good quarterback play could get them into the playoff hunt. However, facing the Seahawks and Cardinals a combined four times will be trial by fire for the rookie.
Analysis:Los Angeles had five picks between the fourth and sixth rounds, and hope at least a couple of them can turn into contributors. That is important since so much draft capital was given up in the trade for Goff. In the end, this draft class will be judged by the way Goff performs. The Rams have been mired in mediocrity for a long time, and much of it can be traced back to the lack of a star quarterback. Goff hopes to change those fortunes and will likely be given the starting job to start the season.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Draft picks:First round – Oregon DE DeForest Buckner, Stanford G Joshua Garnett; Third round – Mississippi State CB Will Redmond; Fourth round – LSU CB Rashard Robinson; Fifth round – Appalachian State DE Ronald Blair, Georgia T John Theus, Mississippi T Fahn Cooper; Sixth round – Louisiana Tech QB Jeff Driskel, Florida RB Kelvin Taylor, Michigan State WR Aaron Burbridge; Seventh round – Western Kentucky CB Prince Charles Iworah.
Most intriguing selection:Garnett. The 49ers traded up into the first round to grab Garnett with the No. 28 overall choice. They gave up second-, fourth- and sixth-round picks to do so, and it's rare to give up that much draft capital for a guard, so General Manager Trent Baalke clearly saw something he really liked. Garnett is a very good run-blocker but will need to improve his pass protection. The 49ers have holes throughout their roster, but hope Garnett can settle in at guard for several years.
Analysis:Many analysts really liked the 49ers' first choice when they picked Buckner at No. 7 overall. He will team with last year's first-round pick, former Oregon defensive end Arik Armstead, as a pair of imposing physical presences on the defensive line. After that, San Francisco grabbed three cornerbacks and a pair of tackles among their picks. Baalke does a great job at securing draft picks, and he was able to select plenty of players, and now he hopes they pan out to help spur the rebuilding process.
Draft picks:First round – Texas A&M T Germain Ifedi; Second round – Alabama DT Jarran Reed; Third round – Notre Dame RB C.J. Prosise, Ohio State TE Nick Vannett, Boise State G Rees Odhiambo; Fifth round – Maryland DT Quinton Jefferson, Arkansas RB Alex Collins; Sixth round – TCU C Joey Hunt; Seventh round – California WR Kenny Lawler, Clemson RB Zac Brooks.
Most intriguing selection:Ifedi. The Seahawks lost starting left tackle Russell Okung in free agency, and the offensive line as a whole has experienced severe turnover in the last couple of years. Quarterback Russell Wilson is a star, but he needs time to throw and the running game is more of an unknown after the retirement of Marshawn Lynch. If Ifedi can come in and play well at one of the tackle positions, it addresses a big need.
Analysis:The Seahawks took advantage of the Paxton Lynch interest to move down five slots in the first round and add a third-round pick. They chose Ifedi, and then added Vannett with the extra choice. They also chose three running backs, aiming to make up for Lynch's lost production. The Seahawks used stellar drafting to become one of the best teams in football. However, as they were forced to dole out expensive contract extensions to players like Wilson, cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, their depth was depleted. The Seahawks hope this class turns out well so they can add some cheap contributors to their impressive, but expensive, core of stars.