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Seahawks are team to beat in NFC West after strong Day 1

Rams looking no better than third-best in division

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams didn’t have a pick in the first round of this year’s draft. What else is new? They were the only team in the division besides the 49ers to not have a selection on opening night. Seattle took full advantage of both their first-rounders on Thursday and might’ve surpassed San Francisco as the division favorite in the process.

With a top-5 pick thanks to the Russell Wilson trade, the Seahawks selected cornerback Devon Witherspoon out of Illinois. The ball-hawking corner did not allow a touchdown in his final season and was the first defensive back in school history to be named a Consensus All-American. Witherspoon is the cherry on top of an already terrifying sundae the Seahawks are dishing out.

This defense might not be the legendary Legion of Boom of nightmare’s past but Seattle is doing their best to replicate it. Thanks again Russ for this mess. I suppose it is true when they say misery loves company. Sharing was not caring here Mr. Dangerwich. LA is going to be suffering plenty with a corner like Witherspoon roaming the sidelines.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Seahawks took the first receiver available at No. 20 and of course it had to be Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Some teams really do get all the luck and not just the Eagles apparently.

JSN played only three games during his final year at Ohio State but was one of the top receivers in the nation. Jaxon had a monster 2021 where he led the Buckeyes with school-record totals of 95 receptions and 1,606 receiving yards. That was on a team with two other first-rounders from the ‘21 draft in Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. He also set an all-time bowl game record with 347 yards off 15 receptions in the Rose Bowl. Let’s pray now that he doesn’t do a fraction of that to the Rams’ barely-there secondary.

Pretty wild to think that Seattle is building around Geno Smith. Who would’ve thought they’d ever hear those words sober? The Seahawks are doing more for Geno Smith than the Packers did for outgoing QB Aaron Rodgers in his 18-year tenure with the team. Who would’ve thought? Smith has a trio of pass catchers that are giving the Bengals quite a run for their money.

Seattle became a dominant force in the 2010s because of top-notch drafting and the last two years for them have exceptional. You have no idea how much it pains me to say that but I have to give them credit where it’s due. Everyone wrote the Seahawks off last year but Pete Carroll and company didn’t write back.

Everyone has the 49ers as the team to beat in the NFC West. They’ve made the last two NFC Championships so that assumption is fair. However, Seattle has (unfortunately) become the squad to be feared the most. A young hungry core like the one being constructed in the Emerald City is going to be impossible to stop. The Seahawks shockingly have the most stable quarterback situation in the West. Yes, LA has Matthew Stafford but will the Rams go QB or not the next two days?

The Rams were already heading into the draft looking up at San Francisco. Now after a stellar Day 1 for the Seahawks, LA is going to be peering up at them too.