- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Quick thoughts on hot topics in the NFC West:
The 2010 NFL draft could become quite a bit more interesting for the NFC West if Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen lasts beyond the top 10 choices. The 49ers reportedly have interest -- they hold the 13th and 17th choices -- and the Seahawks might have to consider Clausen as a candidate at No. 14. My feeling on Seattle and Clausen has been that the Seahawks would be less apt to draft him sixth overall after adding Charlie Whitehurst, but it's tougher to rule out such a decision eight choices later at No. 14 because so many other players will be unavailable.
Clemson running back C.J. Spiller jumps out as another player the Seahawks and even the 49ers could have a hard time overlooking if available in the teens. I just have a hard time thinking Pete Carroll's first draft with the Seahawks will pass quietly. Spiller and/or Clausen would certainly add sizzle. Carroll loves big wideouts, too, and this draft offers a couple high-profile ones in Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas.
The Cardinals checked in with the Steelers regarding Ben Roethlisberger, ESPN's John Clayton mentioned during his radio interview with KTAR in Phoenix. That makes sense given connections between Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and Roethlisberger, but as noted Wednesday, Arizona holds only the 26th overall choice and the Steelers were reportedly looking for a top-10 selection. I'm not convinced Arizona is in position to sacrifice early picks for a player with Roethlisberger's issues, but a Roethlisberger-Whisenhunt pairing would appeal purely on a football level. Whisenhunt was vague when asked about interest in Roethlisberger.
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Sam Bradford will be the Rams' choice if, as expected, the team stays in the No. 1 spot. That's consistent with expectations. Clausen has been out of the mix for some time, Miklasz notes. It's a big upset, in other words, if the Rams don't draft their franchise quarterback.