Around the NFC West: Message received
April, 29, 2013
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
How refreshing it is to finish an NFL draft without a single team from the division worrying about its quarterback situation. That was one of my takeaways from the 2013 draft.
The San Francisco 49ers were the only team from the NFC West to select a quarterback. They waited until the 237th overall choice to select B.J. Daniels from South Florida. The team might have valued Daniels more for his potential to contribute in other areas, including at running back, receiver and in the return game.
Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Sam Bradford and Carson Palmer are firmly established as NFC West starting quarterbacks for 2013.
With the quarterback position covered, NFC West teams loaded up on wide receivers, continuing a trend that began when Anquan Boldin and Percy Harvin joined the division by trade. The 49ers added Boldin for a sixth-round pick. Seattle added Harvin for first- and seventh-rounders this year, plus a third-rounder in 2014.
Then came the draft. NFC West teams used more draft capital for wide receivers than any other division used, based on the total value of picks for wideouts according to the traditional draft-value chart and the newer Harvard one we've referenced lately. The AFC South was second by both measures.
The Rams added Tavon Austin in the first round and Stedman Bailey in the third. The 49ers added Quinton Patton in the fourth, where Seattle found Chris Harper. The Cardinals added Ryan Swope in the sixth round. Every one of those players is expected to earn a roster spot. Austin in particular should contribute right away.