Saturday, April 27, 2013
Sizing up positions the NFC West targeted
By Mike Sando
The NFL draft becomes a blur on the final day as teams select lesser-known players one after another.
By the end, it's helpful to take a look at the bigger picture.
The chart above shows which general positions NFC West teams targeted. Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are listed as skill players. The other group names are self-explanatory.
Seattle Seahawks seventh-round pick Jared Smith played defensive tackle at New Hampshire. He will play guard for Seattle. The chart reflects that change. There will be other tweaks and distinctions as we learn more about how teams plan to use players.
A few thoughts initially based on available information:
- RB picture: NFC West teams loaded up on running backs. That position was already evolving with Steven Jackson's departure from the St. Louis Rams and Beanie Wells' departure from the Arizona Cardinals. Spencer Ware, the running back Seattle selected from LSU in the sixth round, projects at fullback to some extent, coach Pete Carroll said.
- WR shifts: Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson, Early Doucet, Randy Moss and Ben Obomanu are among the veteran wide receivers to leave NFC West teams this offseason. The division added Anquan Boldin and Percy Harvin before selecting five wideouts in the draft, four in the first four rounds.
- DT focus: Seattle drafted three players listed as defensive tackles, not counting Smith. No other team in the division drafted one. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told reporters the team could address that position in free agency.
- Safety numbers: Every team in the division but Seattle needed a safety. The 49ers took Eric Reid in the first round. The Rams took T.J. McDonald early in the third. The Cardinals did not take one, but they plan for early third-round choice Tyrann Mathieu to play a hybrid safety-corner role. Mathieu is listed as a cornerback.
- Front seven: Think the 49ers wanted to help their front seven, which wore down last season and needs to develop players for the line in future seasons? San Francisco drafted three players listed as defensive ends. Tank Carradine is 275 pounds with versatility. Corey Lemonier, at 255 pounds, is more of an outside linebacker type. Quinton Dial is 318 pounds and a pure lineman.