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Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Around the NFC West: Faneca's fit

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals have overcrowding at guard after signing Alan Faneca. Teams generally keep nine on their 53-man rosters. The top nine right now would consist of Faneca, Lyle Sendlein, Levi Brown, Reggie Wells, Herman Johnson, Rex Hadnot, Jeremy Bridges, Brandon Keith and unsigned restricted free agent Deuce Lutui. The quality depth could make it easier for the Cardinals to justify keeping only eight on their 53. Seven are active for games.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Faneca or Wells could move to right guard depending on how things shake out.

Also from Somers: Trading one of the Cardinals' guards could make sense.

More from Somers: The Cardinals are going younger on defense and recent history suggests that might be OK.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee projects the 49ers' depth chart to open training camp while noting that Tony Wragge and Dominique Zeigler could have a harder time earning roster spots. Wragge and Zeigler aren't any worse. It's just that the 49ers have upgraded their positions.

Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says draft analyst Rob Rang thinks Anthony Dixon could make a run at Glen Coffee's job in 2010.

Also from Barber: Rang thinks Taylor Mays is a good fit in San Francisco because the 49ers will have good athleticism around him in the secondary.

More from Barber: Rang says the 49ers' athleticism at tackle could help Mike Iupati succeed at guard.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com profiles new Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, whose coverage ability could give Seattle a strategic advantage. Scout Matt Berry: "To have a safety with his kind of range and his instincts and ability. The flexibility as a defensive staff -- to put him down and line him up on the slot and find the man -- you get to keep personnel packages the same and that is a huge advantage. Playmaking safeties are rare."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times thinks undrafted free agent Jacob Phillips could be an intriguing tackle prospect for the Seahawks.

Also from O'Neil: a look at the Seahawks' offensive tackles.

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com puts together a projected Seahawks depth chart. The situation at defensive end looks worse in writing until Lawrence Jackson, Chris Clemons, E.J. Wilson and Dexter Davis prove otherwise.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says a strong draft isn't enough to turn around the Seahawks overnight. Boling: "Although the Cardinals lost quarterback Kurt Warner, which could affect their dominance, it’s possible that San Francisco (which went 5-1 against the division last season) is ready to step up, and maybe had an even better draft than the Seahawks. Already a team that physically overpowered the Seahawks, the Niners got even more physical, and certainly could grow into the division bullies this fall, taking two top offensive linemen and big-bopping safety Taylor Mays."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sizes up the Brian Westbrook situation with the Rams this way during a chat: "The Rams obviously are serious. There was no contract offered during his Rams Park visit, just some generalities, but that could change. There are three issues with Westbrook: 1.) Does he want to play on artificial turf given his knee and ankle issues. 2.) Does he want to play for a team much lower in the standings than what he was used to in Philly. 3.) Will the money be right -- remember, he was due to make over $7 million this year with the Eagles. And will the Rams want some sort of financial 'protection' if the knee and/or ankle acts up."

Alvin Reid of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says rookie Mardy Gilyard could bring style -- and substance -- to the Rams.