On Friday, I posted the offensive positions in the NFC West. Today I’m posting the defensive starters in the NFC West. “Starter” is a little bit harder to define on defense — or at least the football-consuming public at large seems to recognize more personnel differences on that side of the ball than they do on offense even though for example the LA Rams could really be more of a 2-TE team than a 3-WR team — but I’ll make due as best I can.
It’s not a competition to see who can do the best at accurately predicting the “11 starters” for every defense and in every case there are likely going to be significant, unforeseeable changes between now and whenever the season starts. It’s just a matter of estimating and weighing the competition relative to the Rams.
That being said, if you do see an egregious error or a better calculation of a player’s position or an estimation of who will actually start, go ahead and throw it in the comments — I’m certainly open to the idea that I’m wrong or made an error, overlooked somebody.
I ended up with 11 names for each team, spread out however they’re spread out.
Generally speaking, I’d say that the:
- Seahawks look massively outmatched in pass rushers
- Aaron Donald, Nick Bosa, Chandler Jones still seem to be a class of their own
- Javon Kinlaw, Isaiah Simmons represent interesting young defensive prospects in the division. Seattle’s Jordyn Brooks doesn’t seem likely to start as a rookie unless the team cuts K.J. Wright, which is certainly possible
- The Niners look solid just about everywhere
- Much like on offense, Arizona could sneakily be the second-best team in the division on this side of the ball. In talent on paper in May, at least. How does it come together? Not sure, but advanced development of Simmons, Budda Baker, Byron Murphy could change the makeup of the division to a large degree
Here is a quick look around the NFC West on the defensive side:
49ers - Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Dee Ford
Cardinals - Chandler Jones, Devon Kennard
Rams - Leonard Floyd, Terrell Lewis
Seahawks - L.J. Collier, Benson Mayowa
49ers - Solomon Thomas, Javon Kinlaw
Cardinals - Jordan Phillips
Rams - Aaron Donald, A’Shawn Robinson, Michael Brockers
Seahawks - Jarran Reed, Poona Ford
49ers - Fred Warner
Cardinals - Jordan Hicks, De’Vondre Campbell
Rams - Travin Howard
Seahawks - Bobby Wagner
49ers - N/A
Cardinals - Isaiah Simmons
Rams - N/A
Seahawks - K.J. Wright
49ers - Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, K’Wuan Williams
Cardinals - Patrick Peterson, Byron Murphy, Robert Alford
Rams - Jalen Ramsey, Troy Hill, Terrell Burgess
Seahawks - Shaquill Griffin, Quinton Dunbar, Tre Flowers
49ers - Jimmie Ward
Cardinals - Budda Baker
Rams - John Johnson
Seahawks - Quandre Diggs
49ers - Jaquiski Tartt
Cardinals - Jalen Thompson
Rams - Taylor Rapp
Seahawks - Bradley McDougald
Without any additional commentary, just your own eye test, how do you feel about the Rams on defense as compared to the rest of the division? Adding in the state of the offense from earlier, what are you thoughts on how the roster stacks up?