Now that draft day is nearing, SB Nation NFL sites are exploding with content, especially our NFC West rival blogs. Not only are they looking at possible draft day selections, but how these picks can impact the team immediately if they are chosen. Here is your NFC West Roundup.
Hit the jump.
What kind of impact can a rookie receiver have for the Rams? - Turf Show Times
Players like Julio Jones (who the Rams hope to draft come April 28th) are dynamic receivers, but how much of an impact can they create in their rookie season? Turf Show Times discusses Jones and some of the other past rookie Ram receivers and what they have done. Needless to say, Jones could easily become a top notch receiver very quickly in St. Louis. With the lack of supreme talent in the wide receiver corps, Jones will add great skills and require extra coverage which are things that players such as Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt used to provide. The Cardinals will have their hands full in keeping Jones out of the mix if the Rams do in fact get their hands on him.
Gerald McCoy, the second defensive tackle taken in the draft last year behind Ndamukong Suh, showed that he can be a powerhouse if he is able to remain healthy. In this link at TST, Rams fans discuss how possible Rams selection Corey Liuget may be the next McCoy. One scout is quoted as saying he is the second best DT in the draft behind Alabama’s Marcell Dareus. Most may disagree with this evaluation, but if it is even partially true, the Rams will have a monster on the line with a selection like Liuget. Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower better be ready for Chris Long, Liuget, and the improved defensive line of the St. Louis Rams.
Turning away from the draft, Sando over on the NFC West blog on ESPN is putting together a list of the top linebackers in the NFL through a power ranking type of system. Obviously, a player like Patrick Willis is bound to make the list as an inside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers. Other players mentioned are Jon Beason and DeMarcus Ware, and the infamous Ray Lewis. Hopefully in a couple of years, players like Daryl Washington and O’Brien Schofield are mentioned in a similar posting.
Seahawks Only Team to Attend Pro Day for Greg McElroy - Field Gulls
Field Gulls announced that Greg McElroy only had one team come to visit him on his pro day- the Seattle Seahawks. There is obvious interest in quarterbacks such as hometown hero Jake Locker for Seattle, but this surprised me a little bit (especially since they were the only team represented at his pro day). The Alabama quarterback is stepping into a draft class where quarterback is definitely not the strong position, so he will probably get picked up by a team in the later rounds. One possibility is the Seahawks, who are looking to replace Matt Hasselbeck. A lot of criticism is made of his throwing mechanics and lack of arm strength on the deep balls, but the kid has one thing that surpasses all other quarterbacks in the draft- he’s got brains. A Rhodes Scholar finalist and recipient of a 43 out of 50 score on the Wonderlic test; I don’t think he would have a hard time picking up on anything. Technically, every team except for the Rams in the NFC West could possibly show some interest in McElroy and pick him up later in the draft.
It looks like the Seahawks are taking a page out of the Cardinals book, as they may be looking for a receiver out of a small school. The Arizona Cardinals are notorious for this, as they just took Andre Roberts out of Citadel last year. The Seahawks are looking at players such as Courtney Smith, Darnel Williams and Raymond Webber. To be honest, I do not know much about these players other than what I have read from this post, but the Seahawks are obviously going for a big receiver like Mike Williams, another big Seahawk WR. So bravo to the Seattle Seahawks scouts, they finally caught on to something the Cardinals have been doing for years.
As we know, Jim Harbaugh is set to take the reigns up in San Francisco, so a post with all the bells and whistles was made over at Niners Nation discussing how well rookie head coaches seem to do. The average tenure of a coach in the NFL is only 4 years, so a 4 year window was given for looking at success rates. A lot of these numbers obviously depend on what team the coach is coming into and what players they are going to get to work with, but the truly good coaches shine through. Concluding this very detailed post is the answer that rookie head coaches have become increasingly better over the past few years. This statistic is inspiring a lot of hope for 49ers fans, which will inevitably be crushed by the time the Cardinals roll through the division and back into the playoffs.
Josh Johnson, a one time star at the University of San Diego, may be reunited with his old coach Jim Harbaugh in the Bay Area. Johnson was a backup to Josh Freeman last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and as well chronicled by all NFL writers, the NFC West has QB issues. The 49ers may be willing to trade a pick to get a Josh off the Tampa roster, but with the lockout still in effect, they will simply have to wait. As of late, I have noticed that NFL players who end up with their old head coaches from college (that are now in the NFL) seem to do pretty well and some may even turn their entire career around. Mike Williams is a prime example of this, rejoining Pete Carroll in Seattle last year. Could Josh Johnson be the answer for the San Francisco 49ers? Only time will tell.