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2016 NFL Draft: Recapping How the NFC West Improved on Day 1

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams kicked off the 2016 NFL Draft on Thursday night by drafting Cal quarterback Jared Goff. He’ll look to add much-needed stability at the most important position on the football field.

The rest of the NFC West - one of the strongest divisions in football - got better on Day 1, as well.  Here’s a recap of the first round picks for the Rams, 49ers, Cardinals, and Seahawks.

1.1 Los Angeles Rams - Jared Goff, QB, Cal


From SB Nation’s Turf Show Times

Goff wasn't the most heralded prospect in the draft run-up nor was he an early favorite to land here at the outset of the 2015 college football season. Nonetheless, the Rams have moved all their chips in on Goff.


1.8 San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Bucker, DE, Oregon


From SB Nation’s Niners Nation

The 49ers went into the offseason with Quinton Dial, Ian Williams, and Arik Armstead starting on their base line. Williams is dealing with injury issues, so his status is up in the air. Mike Purcell is likely the guy who moves in at nose tackle, although Quinton Dial could get some opportunities as well. The addition of Buckner allows for all sorts of flexibility along the line. Buckner can get work at 3-4 defensive end, and also at defensive tackle in their sub-packages.


1.28  San Francisco 49ers - Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford


From SB Nation’s Niners Nation

The move is a bit of a surprise as many thought Garnett would slip down to the second round. However, the 49ers obviously were big fans, and he will get a chance to compete for the right guard role right away. Zane Beadles is locked in at left guard, having only played there his entire career. This is a bit of a statement on what the team thinks about guys like Andrew Tiller, Brandon Thomas, and maybe Marcus Martin. Very intriguing.


1.29 Arizona Cardinals - Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss


From SB Nation’s Revenge of the Birds

The Cardinals get a very talented player who has a lot of questions following him. He can potentially be an impact player in the defensive line rotation in 2016 and then be a long-term starter. Nkemdiche is 6-3 and 294 pounds. He had three sacks and seven tackles for a loss in 2015. He reminds a lit of people of Darnell Dockett. He has some off the field issues that took him from a potential top five talent to the bottom of the first.


1.31 Seattle Seahawks - Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M


From SB Nation’s Field Gulls

Ifedi addresses an obvious need for Seattle on the offensive line and could potentially play tackle or guard in the Seahawks' system. He was projected to land somewhere in the late 1st or early 2nd round by most outlets.