Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

NFC West - Improvement On The Horizon?

Colin: I am going to rank the team's drafts from top to bottom as I see them....

1st: Arizona Cardinals - I love Antrel Rolle. He shut down Larry Fitzgerald in college, and was the heart and soul of an excellent Miami defense as a cornerback. You don't usually see that. He will provide leadership for the defensive backs and adds to a terrific Arizona defense. JJ Arrington was a great pick as well, even if some didn't think so. Yes, his size is not the best, but he plays well, picking up blocks and getting the extra needed yards. Just a draft filled with solid players. Keep watch. It might not be this year, but Arizona will be challenging for a playoff spot by the start of the 2006-07 season. They just need a solid quarterback.

2nd: San Francisco 49ers - It helps to have the top pick, not only in the 1st round, but in every round, and the Niners took advantage. Will Alex Smith be the answer? I'm not sold, but he was the right player to take. Frank Gore was a terrific pick in the 3rd round, providing that his knees hold up. He was an absolute bear in college. Just a great draft with players that can't hurt a horrible team. Will they be the diffrence? Absolutely not. But the team will be improved for next year.

3rd: Seattle Seahawks - See previous blog for more details. Suffice it to say that they did a decent job with what they had, but there was nothing to set it above the Cards or Niners.

4th: St. Louis Rams - Tory Holt was a terrific analyst at the draft, and he was on the ball when he said that the Rams needed a safety. Their pass defense was atrocious, and it still will be. Alex Barron is a big question mark. The last thing the Rams needed was a talented kid who's head might not be in the right place. Same with 3rd rounder Richie Incognito. Some analysts really like this draft, but I find nothing there to make it stand out. Sure, it might help their overall depth, but I don't find them any stronger after the players that are now joining them.

Gavin: My ranking is slightly different from Colin's...

1st: Arizona Cardinals - Antrel Rolle will be a stud. If they had real help for him I would like this team even more. Eric Green, the corner they selected with their third round pick, has serious size issues and is projected to not even be able to muscle Bobby Engram. However, Antrel Rolle might give even Terrell Owens some shoves. Any West Coast fan has to cheer for JJ Arrington. The guy led the country in rushing... doesn't that count for anything? The Cardinals didn't have many holes, and they filled the ones they did with excellent prospects. Very few question mark picks. I don't feel that the later rounds helped them out much, but the stuff they did on the first day was exactly what they needed.

2nd: Seattle Seahawks - This is more because of my dislike of San Francisco's draft than our strength. But as listed below, I have our draft as a solid "B" due to its strength at every selection. If you took away the numbers from our players you would have eight players capable of making and contributing to our roster and two possible Pro-Bowl players in Spencer and Tatupu, not to mention the makings of an amazing offensive line. Not as bad as how some projected us (although I can't really argue with a C).

3rd: San Francisco 49ers - Do I think Alex Smith is a good quarterback? Yes. Do I think he's worth the investment that the 49ers will be making in him? Absolutely not. Last year this QB would have been a second round pick. So would Aaron Rodgers. They had the luxury of being the best quarterbacks in a weak year. And still the Niners took him. There were better players on the board (Braylon Edwards) and needs at every position (RB, WR). So I rate them down because of the mediocrity of this pick. However, David Baas was a tremendous pick at round two (but Chris Spencer was rated higher) and Frank Gore a decent pick in round three (one of the few RBs that we wanted for Seattle). Still, who will have an impact for San Fran next year? My guess is that Tim Rattay will outperform Smith in training camp, same with Kevan Barlow and Gore. The 49ers also desperately needed defensive help and didn't really address any of those issues.

4th: St Louis Rams - Mike Martz must feel that he's better able to handle offensive tackles with attitude issues than he was with Kyle Turley. He drafted two with good potential but poor attitudes. This led me to think... has there been a Pro-Bowl offensive tackle who had attitude problems outside of Turley? None that I can think of... doesn't say much for the chances of Alex Barron or Richie Incognito. The cornerback prospect struggled at the Senior Bowl and there were better corners still on the board. The best pick was the safety from Stanford. I like him quite a bit. Still, not much of a draft for the Rams. Didn't really address any of their needs.

posted by colin_hesse @ 4:52 PM  0 comments

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