Seahawks Insider

Can the rest of NFC West use draft to close gap on Seahawks?

Post by Todd Dybas / The News Tribune on May 3, 2014 at 1:29 pm with 23 Comments »
May 3, 2014 1:29 pm

After finishing 7-9 last season, the St. Louis Rams are the bottom-feeders of the NFC West.

It feel disrespectful to refer to the Rams in such terms. They lost starting quarterback Sam Bradford last season, yet finished with seven wins in the NFL’s most iron-filled division. That’s more than bottom-feeding.

The Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked up four wins to finish last in the NFC South. The Minnesota Vikings had just five wins, good for fourth in the NFC North. Then, there’s the abominable Washington Redskins team which had three wins, jettisoning it to the NFC East cellar.

Still, the Rams know they are behind amongst their peers. The participants in the NFC title game — the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers — came from their division, as did the Super Bowl champion. The Arizona Cardinals won 10 games, including the rare feat of winning in Seattle, yet missed the playoffs.

For St. Louis, they have an opportunity for talent hoarding at this week’s NFL Draft, which runs May 8-11. The Rams have 12 total picks, including Nos. 2 and 13 overall.

“We have a long way to go,” St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher said. “I think we’re closing the gap a little bit. But every time you play a division game, you know what to expect. I think people make the case it’s extremely physical, extremely talented, outstanding quarterback play, and you’ve got the top defenses, you know, with respect to Arizona, Seattle, and San Francisco.”

He saw the development of the division while briefly unemployed.

“When I had taken the year off (2011), I started watching ball probably early November and I think you could see it coming together,” Fisher said. “You could see the outstanding job coach Harbaugh did. And you could see, any time you give Pete Carroll just a little bit of time to put it together, he’s gonna make something happen. So I anticipated significant improvement, but I don’t think anybody expected it to be as competitive as it is now.”

Like Seattle, Arizona has six draft picks, one in each round except the seventh. A looming question for the Cardinals is when they begin to look beyond 34-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer. The Cardinals’ first pick is 20th overall, which will give them several options. An edge rusher is also a need.

“All three teams that we’re facing are very, very good defensively,” Arizona general manager Steve Keim said. “You have to keep pace. It leaves very little room for error, not only in the draft but in free agency as well.”

San Francisco’s 11 picks give it more draft flexibility than the Seahawks or Cardinals. It also has a recent history of often trading to move around in the draft.

Offseason issues have glommed onto the 49ers. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was part of a “suspicious incident” in Miami — along with 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton and Seattle wide receiver Ricardo Lockette — which was investigated, but did not result in anyone being charged.

San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith, who has a history of troubles, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after allegedly suggesting he had a bomb while going through airport security.

The 49ers can begin to push those topics back with what should be a busy draft day.

It’s also a chance for all three teams in the division to inch closer to the world champion Seahawks.


Six total
First round — No. 32
Second round — No. 64
Third round — None (Percy Harvin trade)
Fourth round — No. 132
Fifth round — Nos. 146 (Matt Flynn trade) and 172
Sixth round — No. 208
Seventh round — None (Traded 247 overall for Terrelle Pryor)

San Francisco
11 total
First round – No. 30 overall
Second round – No. 56 overall (from the Kansas City Chiefs)
Second round – No. 61 overall
Third round – No. 77 overall (from the Tennessee Titans)
Third round – No. 94 overall
Third round – No. 100 overall (compensatory)
Fourth round – No. 129 overall
Fifth round – No. 170 overall
Seventh round – No. 242 overall (from the New Orleans Saints)
Seventh round – No. 243 overall (from the Carolina Panthers)
Seventh round – No. 245 overall

Six total
First round — No. 20
Second round — No. 52
Third round — No. 84
Fourth round — No. 120
Fifth round — No. 160
Sixth round — No. 196
Seventh round — None

St. Louis
12 total
Round 1 — No. 2 (from Washington)
Round 1 — No. 13
Round 2 — No. 44
Round 3 — No. 75
Round 4 — No. 110
Round 5 — No. 153
Round 6 — No. 188
Round 6 — No. 214
Round 7 — No. 226
Round 7 — No. 241 (from Indianapolis)
Round 7 — No. 249 (compensatory)
Round 7 — No. 250 (compensatory)

Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. jawpeace says:

    Rams can add some serious talent with pick #2 and #13. I hope they pick a bust like we did with AC a few years back.
    That fifth round for Flynn looks nice. Still does not make up for giving up Chargers a third round and dropping 20 slots in the second for clip board Jesus.

  2. GeorgiaHawk says:

    If you count our red shirts from last year we’re in good shape.

  3. Skavage says:

    I sure hope Clowney goes number one to the Texans or whoever they might trade the pick to. I’d hate to see St. Louis grab him at #2. I know he has work-ethics issues but frankly I think that’s been a bit overblown. The guy is a monster and if St. Louis gets him they will arguably have 3 of the top 4 or 5 DL in the league. And as we all saw in the SB, the game is still won or lost in the trenches.

  4. pabuwal says:

    Well, the Rams are still committed to their journeyman QB so how much better can they really get from the draft?

  5. blocis says:

    I don’t think Bradford is elite in anyway, but hes not a journeyman QB.

  6. confucious says:

    I think journeyman is an apt description of Bradford. He has been in the league for a few years now and knows the business. He punches in everyday and is average at what he does. He makes too many mistakes at the wrong time to be anything other than average. In fact I’m happy that he and Carson are in our division. Two big reasons we should win when playing Az and St. Louis.

  7. BobbyK says:

    The Rams actually took a bigger bust in that same draft as Aaron Curry (since he was drafted higher, made more $, and was just as worthless) in the form of Jason Smith.

  8. A big difference now, from previous seasons,..the NFC West is the toughest, most brutal division (top-to-bottom)in the NFL. We aren’t the worst division in the NFC, people plan their seasons around games against our division.
    Now, we all got to keep walking the walk.
    The better your main rivals (division),
    the better you must become.
    Always compete!

    Go ‘Hawks

  9. Just to step outside the box a bit, if P&J were to trade our first and second picks in this year’s draft, for a suite of picks in next year’s draft, what could we reasonably expect in return? We know we are getting a lot of compensation picks for the players lost. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a handful of extra mid-round draft picks next year and groom our roster depth and see you become roster cut moves later in the off season? That still leaves us 4 later round picks this year where we can pick the best available athlete and develop them. We need some additional OLine competition/rotation and you can never have too many talented, fast, long DE/LBs.

    The rest is all gravy!

    Go ‘Hawks

  10. pabuwal says:

    That 2009 top 10 was terrible and that was well known going into the draft. Ruskell tried to trade out but no one wanted that nonsense.

    It was also well known in 2009 that the 2010 draft was going to be great because of the undeclassman rushing out in advance of the new rookie salary cap. So Ruskell managed to trade his 2009 Second Round pick for a 2010 First Rounder from Denver and set the Seahawks up to draft a Future Hall of Famer.

  11. montanamike2 says:

    I can’t wait until next weekend, i’m going to hook up with a friend or two and watch most of the draft. This blog should be buzzing.

  12. GeorgiaHawk says:

    So who do you want us to pick in the Draft and/or what position is needed most?

  13. montanamike2 says:

    I’m not even trying with our FO, i would like an o-lineman though. If someone slid so low you couldn’t pass him up, i’d be OK with that, someone special that is.

  14. montanamike2 says:

    Special, not special needs.

  15. GeorgiaHawk says:

    It’s going to be fun watching this year’s rookies and last year’s rookies battle for roster spots that we lost in free agency.

  16. GeorgiaHawk says:

    This is from field gulls Sunday morning links.

    Perhaps we may see one of these players as a Seahawks soon.

  17. montanamike2 says:

    Good link GeorgiaHawk.

  18. SandpointHawk says:

    Lock John up Paul…

    Fortunes in the NFL change dramatically each year, but for now there would appear to be a long list of legitimate candidates to succeed Thompson.

    John Schneider, 42, left the Packers in January 2010 to serve as general manager in Seattle. He grew up in De Pere, has deep ties and connections within the organization and city, and just helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl.

    Schneider hasn’t had the opportunity to wield the power that he would in Green Bay because Carroll has final say on everything in Seattle. It’s considered almost a foregone conclusion among his colleagues and friends that Schneider regards the Packers as his dream job.

    It’s possible that Seahawks owner Paul Allen, one of the richest men in the world, would offer Schneider more money than almost any man could turn down.

    It’s possible that Schneider might be able to opt out of his Seattle contract because of the increased authority a jump to Green Bay would mean.

    It’s possible that Allen, stung a decade ago when the Packers snatched Thompson away from his neglectful eye, would play hardball and demand draft-choice compensation.

    And it’s possible that Schneider has a clause in his contract enabling him to return home as Packers GM.

  19. Singularitarian says:

    though a deuche bag with the assault thing, Jefferson is a freak athlete. here’s a look

  20. BobbyK says:

    If our scouts determine that the talent in next years draft is just as good as what is available this year, I would love to trade our 32nd pick in the 1st round to some team for their 1st round pick next year. Sure, it’d suck having to wait a year to make that pick but we’d almost be guaranteed that the pick will be higher, too. There are some teams with regimes on the hot seat and they may very well be willing to try to help themselves win now or they won’t be around to make any of those future picks.

  21. Singularitarian says:

    I would want more than just switching picks with a team unless they were really bad like the Oakland Raiders or something. I think Seattle can find a decent player with pick 32. I would imagine that they have their eyes on a couple of kids and that they will use that pick and get a starter

  22. Galena says:

    If you are ready for a 20 page transcript of Mike Mayock talking 2014 NFL Draft then this is for you. Seattle specific questions are on pages 14 & 19. Enjoy:

  23. ChrisHolmes says:

    Wow, 49ers have 8 picks in the first five rounds. That’s money. Jeez… they blow that and someone’s getting fired. They have five picks in round 3-5, where you can really get some core value. Good luck to them; they have some great currency there.

    Rams, on the other hand, have 6 picks in rounds 6 and 7. Not quite the same caliber of picks as SF. I don’t know that you can improve a team very much with 6 picks that are #188 or later.

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