NFC West: Carter Bykowski

Taking stock of 2013 NFC West picks

September, 3, 2013
9/03/13
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Eighty-six of the first 88 players drafted in 2013 remain on 53-man rosters entering Week 1. The two exceptions play for NFC West teams.

The Arizona Cardinals' Jonathan Cooper, chosen seventh overall, suffered a season-ending leg injury during preseason. He is on injured reserve. The San Francisco 49ers' Tank Carradine, chosen 40th overall, remains on the reserve/non-football injury list while recovering from a knee injury.

Twenty-five of 39 NFC West choices this year remain on their original teams' 53-man rosters. That includes all seven picks for the St. Louis Rams and seven of nine for the Cardinals. The 49ers and Seattle Seahawks had a higher number of picks arranged lower within each round, and fewer open roster spots to accommodate them.

Injuries have left six picks from the division on various injured lists. Three of the Seahawks' top five picks will not help the team anytime soon. That includes Harper, defensive tackle Jesse Williams (injured reserve) and cornerback Tharold Simon (reserve/physically unable to perform). Percy Harvin, who cost Seattle its 2013 first-round choice, is also injured.

Five 2013 draft choices from the division landed on their original teams' practice squads. One of them, fourth-round choice Chris Harper, subsequently left his original team (Seattle Seahawks) to sign with the 49ers' 53-man roster.

Three picks from the St. Louis Rams and one from the 49ers are scheduled to start in Week 1. Cooper would have started for the Cardinals if healthy.

Harper wasn't the only NFC West draft choice to land on another team. The 49ers' Marcus Cooper, a seventh-round choice, wound up with Kansas City after the Chiefs claimed him off waivers.

NFC West rookie review: Snap leaders

August, 18, 2013
8/18/13
3:00
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A few notes on playing time for 2013 NFC West draft choices after each team played its second game of the exhibition season:

Seattle Seahawks: Seventh-round choice Michael Bowie played extensively yet again and remains on course to earn a roster spot as one of the backup tackles. He and undrafted free agent Alvin Bailey are combining to give Seattle much greater depth on the line than the team enjoyed in previous seasons. ... Fifth-round tight end Luke Willson blocked effectively against Denver. ... Tharold Simon remains sidelined by injury, making it impossible for him to compete for relevance at cornerback, the position where Seattle might have its greatest depth.

San Francisco 49ers: I was struck by how many special teams snaps third-round outside linebacker Corey Lemonier and sixth-round inside linebacker Nick Moody played. Both figure to contribute in that regard. ... Quarterback B.J. Daniels inserted himself into the conversation with Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien in the race to become the No. 2 quarterback. Having both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick was a luxury last season. Now, the 49ers are like most teams: in big trouble if an injury knocks out their starting quarterback. ... Too bad second-rounder Vance McDonald was hurt. He flashed ability in the preseason opener.

Arizona Cardinals: Second-round inside linebacker Kevin Minter has been overshadowed at times, through no fault of his own. I noticed him right away during camp practices for the hits he was delivering on special teams. The Cardinals are happy with him. ... The starting offense went 10 plays longer than it had in the preseason opener, giving first-round pick Jonathan Cooper welcome reps. Arizona needs Cooper and its offensive line up to speed for quarterback Carson Palmer to connect on the deeper passes coach Bruce Arians favors. ... Running back Andre Ellington had a 24-yard run and a 28-yard kickoff return, a pretty good debut.

St. Louis Rams: I wondered on draft day whether Zac Stacy would factor as the potential starting running back. That obviously isn't going to happen right away. Stacy missed this game to injury and hasn't seriously challenged Daryl Richardson for the starting job. ... The Rams need to develop young offensive line depth, so it was good for Barrett Jones to get 37 snaps. ... Nick Wagoner has the full Rams rookie review for those seeking a deeper look.

A quick look at the San Francisco 49ers' 2013 draft class following the team's exhibition opener against the Denver Broncos at Candlestick Park:

FS Eric Reid, first round, No. 18 overall. Reid served as the No. 2 free safety behind starter Craig Dahl. He played 44 snaps on defense, the fourth-highest total on the team behind Michael Wilhoite (53), Perrish Cox (47), Nathan Stupar (45). Reid stood out for two solid hits. He had six tackles and handled his assignments well, according to coach Jim Harbaugh. This looked like a good first step toward the starting lineup. Reid added four snaps on special teams.

DE Tank Carradine, second round, No. 40 overall. Carradine remains sidelined while recovering from a knee injury. That was the plan for Carradine when the 49ers drafted him.

TE Vance McDonald, second round, No. 55 overall. McDonald had four receptions for 66 yards while playing 49 offensive snaps, the third-highest total on the team behind Joe Looney (51) and Patrick Omameh (51). McDonald dropped a short pass, but I thought this was a solid debut for him. The pass he caught in stride from Colt McCoy produced a 19-yard gain. McDonald also played five snaps on special teams. His 54 total snaps ranked second on the team behind Wilhoite (59).

OLB Corey Lemonier, third round, No. 88 overall. Lemonier was able to pressure the quarterback while playing 28 snaps on defense, the 13th-highest total for the 24 players to get playing time on that side of the ball. Lemonier played 11 snaps on special teams, tied for the second-highest total on the team behind Cam Johnson (12). Lemonier was not credited with a tackle.

WR Quinton Patton, fourth round, No. 128 overall. A finger injury kept Patton from playing. He's been practicing under orders to not let passes sail past him. The idea is for Patton to get reps without risking additional injury to his finger. His preseason debut will have to wait. But with 2012 second-round pick A.J. Jenkins losing a fumble following his lone reception, there could be opportunities for Patton and other young wideouts.

RB Marcus Lattimore, fourth round, No. 131 overall. Lattimore continues to rehab from a knee injury suffered in college. That was the plan for Lattimore when the 49ers drafted him. He probably will not play this season.

DE Quinton Dial, fifth round, No. 157 overall. Dial has an injured toe and did not play against the Broncos.

LB Nick Moody, sixth round, No. 180 overall. Moody played 29 snaps on defense (43 percent) before leaving the game with an apparent knee injury. Moody indicated after the game that his knee was OK. The team isn't counting on Moody this season, but the rookie has enjoyed a strong initial camp relative to expectations for a sixth-round choice. Moody had four tackles on defense and one on special teams.

QB B.J. Daniels, seventh round, No. 237 overall. Daniels played one snap on offense and three on special teams. The utility player did not play quarterback.

OT Carter Bykowski, seventh round, No. 246 overall. Bykowski played 27 snaps on offense. Officials called him for holding on a second-and-2 play. I did not watch him closely enough to pick up much else. Such is the way it goes for offensive linemen. The mistakes tend to stand out.

CB Marcus Cooper, seventh round, No. 252 overall. Cooper played 24 snaps on defense and eight more on special teams. He made one tackle (on defense).
The NFL's rookie wage scale has diminished the negotiating part of contract negotiations.

As a result, the Seattle Seahawks announced Friday they had signed seven draft choices. The San Francisco 49ers announced they had signed five of theirs. The Arizona Cardinals announced they had signed four of theirs.

Players can participate in rookie minicamps with or without signed contracts. The process is largely a formality at this point. There's less tension between players, agents and teams as training camps approach. Rules prevent players from renegotiating their rookie contracts until they've played three seasons, warding off the issues that can arise when a player outperforms his contract.
The St. Louis Rams have yet to announce signings of draft choices. That is not a big deal.

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