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NFC West Draft Grades So far

I thought I'd take a look at the toughest division in the NFL for 2013 to see how the NFC West fared after two day in the NFL Draft whirlwind...



1st Rd - Pick #7 - Jonathan Cooper, OG, UNC

2nd Rd - Pick 13 (#45 from San Diego) - Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

3rd Round - Pick 7 (#69) - Tryann Mathieu, DB, LSU/No School

*** Arizona has a boatload of needs, made worse by a suspension for 4 games of linebacker Daryl Washington. But the big worry has to be their offensive line. They've given up over 150 sacks in the last three years. Second year offensive left tackle Bobby Massie needs to build on his late 2012 season. The addition of UNC's Jonathan Cooper at guard is a great start, and will take some of the pressure up the middle in the defense heavy NFC West. Kevin Minter may give the Cardinals one of the best inside linebacker duos among 3-4 teams. The pick of Tyrann Mathieu may be the biggest "boom or bust" pick of the 2013 draft. Patrick Peterson has personally vouched for the trouble prone "Honey Badger", who will either be this season's Janoris Jenkins, or a horrible mistake that will boil over in the desert sun. Arizona still has a few draft picks to go: 2 - 4ths, 1 pick in each of the 5th, 6th, and 7th Rd.

Draft Grade: "A" if Mathieu works out, "B-" if he crashes and burns.


1st Rd - Pick #18(from Cowboys) - Eric Reid, S, LSU

2nd Rd - Pick 8 (#40 from Titans) - Cornellius Carradine - DE, Florida State

3rd Rd - Pick 23 (#55 from Green Bay) - Vance McDonald, TE, Rice

3rd Rd - Pick 26 (#88 from Green Bay) - Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn

The 49ers draft was purely about team depth, with the exception of the Eric Reid pick. I'm not all that sure they made the right choice in the LSU safety to replace Dashon Goldson. Size and speed are a close match to the departed free agent, but his ability to cover in space may be a problem. He's a physical safety who'll need to be brought along by the coaching staff. Too much, too soon and Reid could suffer against a growing, quality bunch of wide receivers in the NFC West."Tank" Carradine was a decent pick. He has mental lapses that cost him in college and in the draft. I like this pick. Vance McDonald has some great tools. The Rice tight end could be a great sleeper for the 49ers, who see him filling the void of the departed Delanie Walker. I'm not ready to buy into McDonald yet. Great college film is one thing, but the defensive backs in the NFC West may be something that's beyond his ability. Corey Lemonier is a solid pick. His speed for a big man is impressive, and his footwork makes him ideal as an edge rushing DE/OLB hybrid in certain situations. Call him Aldon Smith lite? They still have loads of picks to go too. (2 -4ths, 1 - 5th, 1 - 6th, and 3 - 7ths; plus they've gained picks in 2014 from trades)

Draft Grade: B


2nd Rd - Pick 30 (#62 from Ravens) - Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M

3rd Rd - Pick 25 (#87) - Jordan Hill, DT, Penn State

Seattle showed up for the NFL draft party, and wandered around the edge of the dance floor for the first three rounds. Without a first round pick due to the Percy Harvin trade, we didn't get to see Pete Carroll grab a head scratching gem. The Seahawks have a veritable ocean of late round picks on day 3 of the draft (1 - 4th, 3 - 5ths, 2 - 6ths, and 4 - 7ths). That said, I'm not impressed with who they've taken thus far. Chritsine Michael may not even make the game day roster in 2013. Jordan Hill is interesting, and he has the high work ethic of Penn State products. I don't see him as more than a rotational option for a team in need of defensive push in its pass rush.

Draft Grade: Incomplete


1st Rd - Pick #8 (from Buffalo) - Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

1st Rd - Pick #30 (from Atlanta) - Alec Ogletree, OLB, Georgia

3rd Rd - Pick 9 (#71 from Buffalo) - T. J. McDonald, FS, USC

3rd Rd - Pick 30 (#92 from Atlanta) - Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia

If the Rams weren't one of the youngest teams in the NFL right now, I'd be worried. Why? Well, if you look at their picks over the last two days, every one of them will most likely be a starter, or key rotational player. No, I'm not kidding! McDonald needs a bit more than a pulse to challenge for a starting free safety spot. The West Virginia duo of Austin and Bailey will be on the field, and I'm not really sure which one of these guys will play more than the other. YES, really! Alec Ogletree has a small wildcard thing about him as far as maturity, but the Rams' need for a sideline to sideline outside linebacker (WILL) is pressing indeed. Bottom line, this entire first two day group is going to contribute day 1 of the 2013 NFL season, guaranteed. But what keeps my worries at bay is the overall quality of this group, which is more than impressive taken as a whole. The picks are unique among NFC West foes too. If you look at their division foes, they did little to shift their offensive or defensive paradigm, , but instead bolstered what they have already. The Rams took a "Just try to figure this out" strategy. Sooner or later the Rams will have to bolster their offensive line issues at left guard. Barrett Jones, Brian Schwenke, Ricky Wagner (OG at the NFL level?), David Quessenberry, Travis Bond - these are some OL names to keep on your draft radar for day 3. The Rams still have 1 - 4th, 1 - 5th, and 2 - 6th round picks left.

Draft Grade: After sleeping on the Ogletree pick (I'm not completely at ease, but it's a process, right?), I give the Rams first two days of the draft a... "B+" - No other team in this draft will rely so heavily on their first four picks in 2013.