Sunday, September 25, 2011
Updated: NFC West roided-out rosters
By Mike Sando
The freshly updated NFC West roided-out rosters feature a lineup change no one could have envisioned just two years ago.
Moving rookie K.J. Wright into the Seattle Seahawks' starting lineup over Aaron Curry leaves NFC West teams with six of their own 2009 draft choices as projected starters heading into Week 3. The other divisions average about 10 starters from their 2009 draft classes.
Curry joins a growing list of NFC West picks from that class failing to meet expectations. Arizona's second-rounder Cody Brown never earned a spot on the Cardinals' 53-man roster even though the team needed, and still needs, young outside linebackers. Glen Coffee, the San Francisco 49ers' third-round choice in 2009, retired last offseason.
The six current NFC West starters from the 2009 class: Jason Smith, James Laurinaitis and Bradley Fletcher for the St. Louis Rams; Max Unger for the Seahawks; Michael Crabtree for the San Francisco 49ers, provided he moves back into the starting lineup; and Beanie Wells for the Arizona Cardinals. Of those, only Laurinaitis and Fletcher have met expectations.
Fourteen players from the 2009 class remain with the NFC West teams that selected them: Smith, Fletcher, Laurinaitis and Darell Scott for the Rams; Wells, Rashad Johnson, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Greg Toler (injured reserve) for the Cardinals; Curry, Unger, Deon Butler (physically unable to perform list) and Cameron Morrah (also PUP); and two 49ers, Crabtree and Ricky Jean-Francois.
I'd rank the Rams' 2009 class best in the division, no surprise given how early the the team was drafting. The Cardinals' class would rank second even though Arizona was coming off a Super Bowl and ranked 31st in the draft order. That reflects poorly on the Seahawks' and 49ers' classes that year.