NFC West 2017 NFL Draft Final Grades

The NFC West went from one of the strongest divisions to one of the worst divisions last season. The Seahawks finished 10-5-1, after that every team was below .500. The Rams and 49ers have new coaching staffs going into this year (both rookie head coaches) and the Niners have a rookie GM as well in John Lynch.

On paper, the Cardinals should have been every bit as good last season as they were in 2015. For some reason, they could not replicate the success and they had to watch the playoffs from the couch.

The Seahawks had somewhat of an up and down season, but made it to the divisional round of the playoffs, before they were blown out by the Atlanta Falcons. Each of these teams will hope that they were able to better themselves in this year’s NFL Draft as they enter another season with dreams of playing late into January.

NFC West 2017 NFL Draft Final Grades

Arizona Cardinals 2017 Draft

Round/PickPlayerPositionCollege
1/13Haason ReddickILBTemple
2/36Budda BakerSWashington
3/98Chad WilliamsWRGrambling
4/115Dorian JohnsonOGPittsburgh
5/157Will HoldenOTVanderbilt
5/179T.J. LoganRBNorth Carolina
6/208Rudy FordSAuburn

Best Pick: Budda Baker

Baker may be a little undersized for a traditional safety (5’9″ and 195 lbs) but his ball-hawking ability and instincts make up for it. He is a similar player to Tyrann Mathieu¬†but their versatility allows for the defense to change schemes without substituting.

Value/Sleeper: T.J. Logan

Although Arizona is set in the backfield with David Johnson, Logan is a versatile running back that was the fastest in the class (4.37 40-yard dash). He can also return kicks and catch the ball out of the backfield, providing insurance for Johnson, as you can never have too many running backs.

Reach: Will Holden

In need of a swing player that can play LT and RT the cardinals drafted a player that could play his way onto the roster, but probably would have lasted at least another round.

Overall Grade: B-

 

Los Angeles Rams 2017 Draft

Round/PickPlayerPositionCollege
2/44Gerald EverettTESouth Alabama
3/69Cooper KuppWREastern Washington
3/91John JohnsonSBoston College
4/117Josh ReynoldsWRTexas A&M
4/125Samson EbukamOLBEastern Washington
6/189Tanzel SmartDTTulane
6/206Sam RogersFBVirginia Tech
7/234Ejuan PriceDEPittsburgh

Best Pick: John Johnson

Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson is not a complete player yet, but he is in the perfect system. Wade Phillips is a great defensive coordinator and Johnson’s versatility will give him a lot of opportunities to play.

Value/Sleeper: Cooper Kupp

Kupp is statistically the most prolific receiver in Division I history. During his career at Eastern Washington, he caught 428 passes for 6,464 yards and 73 touchdowns. Former WR and future Hall of Famer, Steve Smith Sr., called Kupp the best receiver in the draft. The fit with Los Angeles is not the best but the Rams got great value with this pick.

Reach: Gerald Everett

This pick made no sense to me as the Rams used a 4th round pick on Tyler Higbee just last year. Using a second round pick on a slot receiver/tight end where there were much better players available is questionable, to say the least.

Overall Grade: C

 

San Francisco 49ers 2017 Draft

Round/PickPlayerPositionCollege
1/3Solomon ThomasDLStanford
1/31Reuben FosterLBAlabama
3/66Ahkello WitherspoonCBColorado
3/104C.J. BeathardQBIowa
4/121Joe WilliamsRBUtah
5/146George KittleTEIowa
5/177Trent TaylorWRLouisiana Tech
6/198D.J. JonesDLMississippi
6/202Pita TaumoepenuDLUtah
7/229Adrian ColbertSMiami

Best Pick: Rueben Foster

The 49ers traded up to grab Foster who was still around at pick 31. Maybe there were concerns about his shoulder, maybe it was the diluted sample at the combine, but GM John Lynch took advantage of the situation and drafted a player he was considering taking with the second pick. If he is healthy, he will be Patrick Willis 2.0.

Value/Sleeper: Joe Williams

You could easily put Reuben Foster in this category as well as he was widely considered a top-10 talent, but Joe Williams was an absolute steal in the fourth. His stock may have fallen due to the fact that he quit on his college team for a few weeks during the 2016 season, but when he returned, he put up monster numbers. Adding a dynamic player like Williams will give the 49ers another weapon in the backfield to pair with Carlos Hyde and Tim Hightower.

Reach: C.J. Beathard

According to Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr., there were multiple quarterbacks available when the 49ers traded up to draft Beathard. It was a shocking move, to say the least, as he probably would have been available on day 3, but Shanahan said the Iowa product was the only QB he wanted in this class. If Shanahan knows anything, it’s how to develop QBs so it’s hard to question his reasoning.

Overall Grade: A-

 

Seattle Seahawks 2017 Draft

Round/PickPlayerPositionCollege
2/35Malik McDowellDTMichigan State
2/58Ethan PocicOLLSU
3/90Shaquill GriffinCBCentral Florida
3/95Delano HillSMichigan
3/102Nazair JonesDTNorth Carolina
3/106Amara DarbohWRMichigan
4/111Tedric ThompsonSColorado
6/187Mike TysonSCincinnati
6/210Justin SeniorOTMississippi State
7/226David MooreWREast Central University
7/249Chris CarsonRBOklahoma State

Best Pick: Shaquill Griffin

Seattle needed a cornerback and Griffin fits the mold that the Seahawks look for. He is big and loves to stick his nose in the action. Any flaws he might have will be covered up in the scheme out west.

Value/Sleeper: Nazair Jones

Jones will pair perfectly with McDowell on the defensive line. Jones is more of an early-down player eating up space in the middle and McDowell will be asked to get after the QB. Grabbing Jones here was great value for Seattle.

Reach: Malik McDowell

Widely considered a first round talent, Seattle traded back twice, accumulating picks and still was able to get McDowell at 35 overall. However, with needs on the offensive line that ranked at the bottom last season, Seattle chose a boom or bust player with someone like Forrest Lamp still available.

Overall Grade: B-

Levi Lefler

Author Levi Lefler

Writer and Podcast for Sports Al Dente. Giving the public up to date fantasy advice to help your team reach legendary status. We may not always be politically correct or even correct for that matter. All we care about is giving our viewers what they want. We love the feedback.

More posts by Levi Lefler

Leave a Reply

Sports Aldente 2017