NFC West tour: A pick-by-pick look at draft

You know who the 49ers selected in last week's NFL draft. Here's a look at and breakdown of the players that were picked San Francisco's three divisional rivals in the NFC West.


Arizona Cardinals


Filling immediate needs was obviously not the Cardinals' priority in this draft.

They chained themselves to their draft board, avoided temptation to trade up or down, and took the best player available, regardless of position.

Conventional wisdom had them taking an offensive lineman early, but they didn't select one until right tackle Bobby Massie in the fourth round.

Instead, Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd was the first-round choice, with Oklahoma cornerback Jamell Fleming being selected in the third round.

The Cardinals sent their second-round pick to Philadelphia last summer as part of the trade for Kevin Kolb.

Cornerback was the least of the Cardinals' needs, yet they reasoned that it didn't make sense to pass on Fleming.

Taking talent over need worked for the Cardinals in the draft a year ago, coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

"A lot has been said about last year's draft and some of the players that performed for us," he said. "I think that was a good indication of not necessarily trying to fit a perceived need as far as taking players that were good fits for you."

BEST PICK
Tackle Bobby Massie:
The Cardinals had to be tempted to take Massie in the third round but were rewarded for their patience when he was there in the fourth. Massie has a chance to start right away. The right tackle job is open, and the Cardinals think Massie has the ability to earn it.

COULD SURPRISE
Quarterback Ryan Lindley:
The San Diego State quarterback has a strong arm and good size (6-3, 230 pounds). He's a project so he won't contribute for a couple of years. But he's smart and has ability. If Kevin Kolb and John Skelton falter over the next few years, Lindley could get a shot.

A closer look at the Cardinals' picks:

Round 1/13 - Michael Floyd, WR, 6-2, 220, Notre Dame
The Cardinals think Floyd is a lot like No. 1 wideout Larry Fitzgerald: big, physical and can make the tough catches. Receiver wasn't the club's greatest need but if Floyd listens to Fitzgerald and learns, they could be a dynamic combination.

Round 3/80 - Jamell Fleming, CB, 5-11, 206, Oklahoma
It was a big surprise the Cardinals took a corner this high because they have talent at the position. But they love Fleming's quickness and strength and ability to play in space.

Round 4/ 112 - Bobby Massie, OT, 6-6,316, Mississippi
There was some speculation the Cardinals would take Massie in the third round, but they obviously were smart to wait. The right tackle job is open, and that's where Massie played in his three college seasons.

Round/151 - Senio Kelemete, G/T, 6-3, 300, Washington
Kelemete played left tackle at Washington but the Cardinals think he's a guard.

Round 6/177 - Justin Bethel, CB/S, 6-0, 199, Presbyterian
The Cardinals have had success with corners from small schools (Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Greg Toler). Bethel joins a roster full of defensive backs. He blocked nine kicks in college.

Round 6/185 - Ryan Lindley, QB, 6-3, 232, San Diego State
He's a four-year starter with good size and a strong arm. His weakness is accuracy, completing 55.48 percent of his career attempts.

Round 7/ 221 - Nate Potter, OT, 6-5, 303, Boise State
A three-year starter and a steady player. A developmental project, the Cardinals won't expect him to play any time soon.


St. Louis Rams


To assess the first two days of the Rams' draft, it's necessary to go deeper than to simply evaluate the five players the Rams selected in the first three rounds.

What the Rams accomplished must be viewed from within the prism of where they were as the new league year approached in mid-March.

With the second choice in the first round, general manager Les Snead and coach Jeff Fisher knew they had a precious commodity because of the obvious knowledge that quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III would be first two picks in the draft.

In unprecedented fashion, the Rams were able to engineer a deal with Washington that was completed before the start of the league year and landed them with the sixth pick in the first round, a second-round choice (39th overall) as well as first-round picks in 2013 and 2014.

Meanwhile, as their evaluations unfolded, it became apparent that a team with numerous needs could benefit from a draft that had a large number of very good players that were rated close to each other.

The plan came to fruition as the Rams watched Cleveland trade to select running back Trent Richardson and Jacksonville jump in front of them for wide receiver Justin Blackmon in the first round.

The Rams were in position to take Louisiana State cornerback Morris Claiborne, but instead moved down eight slots with Dallas and acquired the Cowboys' second-round pick (45th overall).

Asked about the rationale behind the deal, Snead said, "I'm not going to name the players but there were multiple players that we really liked at that pick (No. 6), but we also had a plan that we talked about all week. If they didn't fall there then we would try to move back and pick up another pick, and the goal was to pick up another second so that we could spread the pick and get more and also get a player we wanted."

That player was defensive tackle Michael Brockers.

There was a consideration to trading down again, but coach Jeff Fisher said, "We were prepared to. We had set the value. There were other players on the board, but we couldn't wait any longer. We couldn't pass up this opportunity."

When the dust cleared and their dealing was done, the Rams had Brockers, plus two additional second-round picks and first-round picks the next two years.

Then, on the second day of the draft, the Rams traded the pick they got from the Cowboys to move down five spots and pick up a fifth-round choice, the one round where the Rams entered the draft with no selections.

BEST PICK
Cornerback Janoris Jenkins:
It could end up being the worst picks in Jenkins fails to mature, but his natural talent gives him tremendous upside.

COULD SURPRISE
Guard Rokevious Watkins:
Played numerous positions in two years in college, but could be a stalwart at guard if takes to the coaching of Paul Boudreau.

A closer look at the Rams' picks:

Round 1/14 - Michael Brockers, DT, 6-5, 322, Louisiana State
A quality run-stuffer in college, the Rams expect defensive line coach Mike Waufle to also help him develop as a pass rusher. But stopping the run will be important on a defense that has struggled mightily in that department.

Round 2/33 - Brian Quick, WR, 6-4, 222, Appalachian State
The Rams love his size, hands and ability to snatch the ball. They aren't worried the level of competition in college. General manager Les Snead said of the receivers they worked out, Quick "was as good, or better, than all of them."

Round 2/39 - Janoris Jenkins, CB, 5-10, 193, North Alabama
Boom or bust, the Rams rolled the dice on Jenkins who likely would have been a high first-round pick had he had not had a host of off-field issues in college. Coach Jeff Fisher said the team will have a plan and that "we're not concerned about him."

Round 2/50 - Isaiah Pead, RB, 5-10, 193, Cincinnati
The Rams finally made a commitment to address a complement to Steven Jackson, who will be 29 in July. Pead is viewed as a change-of-pace option behind Jackson and he is expected to contribute as a receiver.

Round 3/65 - Trumaine Johnson, CB, 6-2, 204, Montana
Recorded 15 career interceptions, and is viewed as a potential starter by the Rams. Johnson has excellent size with long arms and fits coach Jeff Fisher's desire for physical players.

Round 4/96 - Chris Givens, WR, 5-11, 198, Wake Forest Has game-breaking speed and natural pass-catching ability, which was evident in his 2011 season that produced 83 receptions for 1,330 yards and nine touchdowns.

Round 5/150 - Rokevious Watkins, OG, 6-4, 330, South Carolina
Two-year starter after transferring from Georgia Military College, and played both guard and tackle. The Rams have an opening at left guard, and they hope the massive Watkins can come in and compete.

Round 6/171 - Greg Zuerlein, PK, 6-0, 190, Missouri Western
Incumbent Josh Brown has a salary of $2.7 million, and Zuerlein set a NCAA record with 21 consecutive field goals last season, including nine from 50 yards or more.

Round 7/209 - Aaron Brown, OLB, 6-0, 237, Hawaii
Productive, but undersized linebacker that had 103 tackles (13 for loss), 4.5 sacks and three interceptions last season.

Round 7/252 - Daryl Richardson, RB, 5-10, 192, Abilene Christian
Speed back with explosiveness, Richardson is the brother of NFL players Bernard Scott (Bengals) and Clyde Gates (Dolphins).


Seattle Seahawks


Seattle wanted to get more speed on defense, and they achieved that by drafting the most pure pass rusher in the draft in West Virginia's Bruce Irvin at No. 15 overall. Irvin ran a blazing, 4.43 in the 40-yard dash at the combine and totaled 22.5 sacks during his two seasons at West Virginia.

Coach Pete Carroll said he'll back up pass-rushing defensive end Chris Clemons, and play opposite him on third down.

Carroll also drafted a quarterback for the first time since he's been in Seattle, selecting Wisconsin signal-caller Russell Wilson in the third round.

The Seahawks like Wilson's skill set and leadership skills. And even though Seattle signed Matt Flynn to a multi-year deal in free agency, Wilson will get an opportunity to show how he fits into the quarterback competition with Flynn and Jackson once training camp begins in July.

BEST PICK
Running back Robert Turbin:
The Seahawks needed a backup running back to ease the load for Marshawn Lynch, and they get another bruising runner in Turbin.

COULD SURPRISE
Outside linebacker Korey Toomer:
The University of Idaho product is an athletic freak that could earn playing time in passing situations as a rusher.

A closer look at the Seahawks' picks:

Round 1/15 - Bruce Irvin, DE, 6-3, 248, West Virginia
League observers believe Seattle reached by taking Irvin here, but the Seahawks say they've got the best pass rusher in the draft.

Round 2/47 - Bobby Wagner, MLB, 6-0, 241, Utah State
Wagner adds speed to the linebacker position and brings versatility, with the ability to play both inside and outside. He'll compete for the starting middle linebacker job left vacant by the departure of David Hawthorne in free agency.

Round 3/75 - Russell Wilson, QB, 5-11, 206, Washington
Somewhat of a surprise pick by Seattle, but the team loves his skill set and leadership skills. Don't be surprised if Wilson manages to make some noise at quarterback in 2012.

Round 4/106 - Robert Turbin, RB, 5-10, 222, Utah State
Seattle needs a bruising runner to lessen the load on Marshawn Lynch, and they appear to have gotten the guy in Turbin.

Round 4/114 - Jaye Howard, DT, 6-3, 301, Florida
Howard played under former Seahawks defensive line coach Dan Quinn at Florida, where he serves as the Gators defensive coordinator. That should help in his transition to Seattle.

Round 5/154 - Korey Toomer, OLB, 6-2, 234, Idaho
Toomer ran a 4.53 40-yard time at his pro day and posted a 42-inch vertical jump, so Seattle likes his speed and athleticism.

Round 6/172 - Jeremy Lane, CB, 6-0, 190, Northwestern State
The Seahawks get a good athlete and physical defender who can press coverage on the outside and on the slot receiver as a nickel defensive back.

Round 6/181 - Winston Guy, SS, 6-2, 218, Kentucky
Guy will get a chance to compete for the backup strong safety job behind Kam Chancellor.

Round 7/225 - J.R. Sweezy, DT, 6-4, 298, North Carolina State
Sweezy played defensive tackle in college, finishing with 16 tackles and two sacks his final season for the Wolf Pack. But Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable convinced him to switch to offensive guard.

Round 7/232 - Greg Scruggs, DE, 6-3, 284, Louisville
A rangy, lanky athlete with loads of potential who can rush the passer and also back up Red Bryant at defensive end.


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