Late night NFC West first-round thoughts
April, 23, 2010
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
The Seahawks were convinced Philadelphia had leaped over them in the first round to draft safety Earl Thomas, the player Seattle wound up drafting at No. 14.The Eagles drafted linebacker Brandon Graham instead. Seattle wanted Thomas because the Seahawks saw him as a play-making safety with the ability to match up against wide receivers in coverage. Coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider couldn't immediately think of a similar player in the NFL when I asked for a comparison. Schneider finally said he thought Nick Collins had similar abilities that way.
- I must have missed the announcement naming Mike Solari as the 49ers' new general manager. Solari, the team's new offensive line coach, came out of the first round with tackle Anthony Davis and guard Mike Iupati. Position coaches stress over whether their teams' personnel people will find help for them in the draft. Solari will be the envy of the 49ers' coaches' meetings after this first round.
- The Rams got their quarterback, as expected, and now they have an opportunity to help him, starting with the first pick of the second round. The top two receivers and the top tight end are gone. Notre Dame receiver Golden Tate is available. Would he make an immediate difference? The Rams have already invested quite a bit in their offensive line, but with Rodger Saffold available and Alex Barron's long-term future in question, would taking a tackle make any sense? What about a defensive end such as Everson Griffen? The Rams have enough needs to feel good about whichever player they take next.
- The Cardinals hold three of the next 57 choices and they've already landed Dan Williams, widely considered the best nose tackle in the draft. They could move up if they chose or sit back and use the 58th, 88th and 89th choices. The team could use another linebacker and Florida's Brandon Spikes, described by scouts as a thumper with good instincts and strong work ethic, remains available.