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Arizona Cardinals Fly Around the NFC West: Draft Edition

Like we promised last week, this week’s Fly Around the NFC West will be devoted to the 2010 NFL Draft. There are only 18 days left until the draft and it’s a big one for the NFC West, as those teams have 6 first round picks, including the 1st pick in the draft.

Quick note: the Rams and the Niners are both out of the Donovan McNabb trade market now that he’s heading to Washington. I’m thankful I don’t have to write about those ridiculous rumors anymore.


San Francisco 49ers: Before today, the 49ers were considered players in the Donovan McNabb sweepstakes, but as he was traded to the Washington Redskins today, Alex Smith looks like the Niners QB for next year. The Niners are in a unique position at not having too many glaring needs, but a bunch of small ones. What they do need is an elite cornerback and a franchise offensive tackle, but with two picks in the first round they can afford to take a "value" pick, like CJ Spiller, over a "need" pick. Spiller, the Clemson University running back, has been linked to the Niners for a very long time. Many mock drafts have Spiller going to the Niners with their 13th pick, but with Joe Haden’s status falling, he could be a good pick for the Niners also. Considered the best CB in the draft, Haden was a sure fire top ten pick until he recorded subpar 40 times at both the combine and his pro-day. The Niners could take Haden with the 13th pick if he’s still available, but it is a risk (Cardinals fans have experience with slow CBs taken in the first round, although luckily for the Cards, Antrel Rolle ended up playing safety pretty well). The Niners other first round pick will probably be an offensive tackle, possibly Anthony Davis from Rutgers or Charles Brown from USC. Offensive line is a big need for the Niners and look for them to fill that need with their second first rounder and/or their second rounder.

Seattle Seahawks: This draft might define Pete Carroll’s legacy in Seattle. Two Pro-Bowl caliber 1st round selections will go a long way into molding this team into Carroll’s vision, but 2 busts will be catastrophic for a team and city in need of some sports hope. The Hawks have a lot of needs, but many think that Carroll can fill in some of those defensive holes with players currently on the roster. By all account, Carroll is very good at coaching defensive sets and getting the most out of his defensive players. The offensive side, however, is much more depressing. The Seahawks are in desperate need of an elite receiver, a running back to complement Justin Forsett, and a franchise left tackle. Ideally the Seahawks would get Brandon Marshall with one of their first round picks and either CJ Spiller or a tackle like Russell Okung or Trent Williams. However, it’s extremely improbable the Hawks will give up the 6thpick for Brandon Marshall straight up. Much more palatable for Seahawk fans would be giving up the 6th pick and their 2nd rounder, or their 1st next year for the 11th pick and Brandon Marshall. A trade like that would be a coup for the Seahawks and they could select CB Joe Haden or Trent Williams (if they’re very lucky). Then they could use the 14th on CJ Spiller, Bruce Campbell, or Charles Brown. Basically, this is a huge draft for the future of the Seahawks and hopefully (for us) they end up with Jimmy Clausen and Taylor Mays instead of Marshall, Spiller, and Haden.


St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford, Sam Bradford, Sam Bradford. I seriously considered ending the Rams section of this post after that first sentence. The Rams need a QB, and passed on Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez for defensive tackles in the last two years. There is no chance of that happening this year. They will select Sam Bradford with the first pick and hope he turns into their franchise QB, especially with the Donovan McNabb trade that never made sense not possible anymore. There’s not much else left to stay.