NFC West: Jay Moore

NFC West teams have drafted 22 defensive ends since 2002, a number smaller than I would have anticipated.

An even smaller number -- two! -- start for the teams that drafted them.

One, Antonio Smith, starts for another team.

A few notes relating to this latest item in a series examining various positions:
  • Kentwan Balmer appears as a defensive end because the San Francisco 49ers drafted him to play that position. Balmer played defensive tackle in college.
  • Darnell Dockett does not appear as a defensive end because the Arizona Cardinals drafted him to play defensive tackle. Yes, Dockett plays defensive end in the Cardinals' current scheme, but the NFL lists him as a tackle for Pro Bowl voting and he is not a typical defensive end even by 3-4 standards.
  • Of the 22, only Chris Long and Calais Campbell are starting for their original teams. Smith is starting for the Houston Texans.
  • Six of the eight most highly drafted ends since 2002 came from teams most recently affiliated with the ACC.
  • Long was the only player on the list drafted before the 28th overall choice.
  • Will Davis and Parys Haralson were listed as defensive ends coming out of college, but both projected as outside linebackers. That is why they do not appear below. Cody Brown also projects at linebacker.
  • I've used the term "not active" loosely in the charts to describe players who weren't on active rosters during the regular season recently.

Now, on to the charts. I've broken them up with italicized comments representing what NFL teams might have been thinking at corresponding stages of these drafts.

Playing it safe and hoping those NFL bloodlines pay off ...


Defensive linemen are at a premium, and we might find out why ...


The pure pass-rushers are gone by now ...


If these guys don't pan out, it'll be a while before we take another third-round end ...


It's an upset if we find a starter at this point ...


Time to fill out the practice squad, but you never know ...

Of all the 2007 NFC West draft picks, the Cardinals' Levi Brown and the 49ers' Patrick Willis have started the most games.US PresswireOf all the 2007 NFC West draft picks, the Cardinals' Levi Brown and the 49ers' Patrick Willis have started the most games.
JaMarcus Russell's demise as an NFL player is back in the news, shining light upon the perils of investing millions in unproven prospects.

The 2007 NFL draft was about more than Russell, of course.

That draft also produced Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, Darrelle Revis and Lawrence Timmons among the top 15 choices.

For as much criticism as the Arizona Cardinals have taken for selecting tackle Levi Brown fifth overall, Brown has started 59 regular-season games, second only to Willis (63) among NFC West draft choices that year. He has also started six playoff games, including a Super Bowl, and coach Ken Whisenhunt expects good things from him.

I've put together a couple charts showing what NFC West teams have gotten from their draft choices that year. More on those in a bit.

First, I've taken a team-by-team look at the players selected, whether they remain with their original teams and how many games each has started for his drafted team.

The 49ers had the best draft among NFC West teams. They also had the most draft capital to work with, selecting twice in the first round. The Seattle Seahawks had no first-rounder that year thanks to the Deion Branch trade, so expectations were lower.

Arizona Cardinals

Total picks: five

Still with team (4): Brown (59), Steve Breaston (26), Ben Patrick (20), Alan Branch (3)

No longer with team (1): Buster Davis (0)

Comment: The Cardinals had fewer total selections than any team in the division. Hitting on Breaston in the fifth round was outstanding, but the Cardinals haven't gotten enough from their top three selections that year. Branch never panned out as a second-rounder. Davis, the third-rounder, didn't make it out of camp. Whisenhunt takes pride in making roster decisions with less regard for draft status. He wasn't going to give Davis or anyone a free pass. That's admirable, but in the bigger picture, Arizona still came up short in this draft.

San Francisco 49ers

Total picks: nine

Still with team (5): Willis (63), Joe Staley (50), Ray McDonald (9), Dashon Goldson (34), Tarell Brown (5)

No longer with team (4): Jason Hill (2), Jay Moore (0), Joe Cohen (0), Thomas Clayton (0)

Comment: Former general manager Scot McCloughan gets credit for selling former coach Mike Singletary on Willis as an elite prospect. That seems odd given Singletary's background as a Hall of Fame linebacker, but the 49ers got the right guy, so the "how" part matters less. That one selection makes this draft the best in the division for 2007. Staley is the starting left tackle. McDonald has been a solid rotation player. Goldson became a starter. All in all, this was a strong draft.

Seattle Seahawks

Total picks: eight

Still with team (2): Brandon Mebane (53), Will Herring (7)

No longer with team (6): Josh Wilson (24), Steve Vallos (8), Mansfield Wrotto (5), Courtney Taylor (4), Jordan Kent (1), Baraka Atkins (0)

Comment: Not having a first-round selection severely hurt this class' overall potential. Wilson seemed like a solid selection in the second round given the playmaking value he offered, but multiple changes in organizational leadership left him on the outside in terms of fit. Mebane was a solid choice in the third round. Vallos and Wrotto remain in the league elsewhere.

St. Louis Rams

Total picks: eight

Still with team (1): Clifton Ryan (27)

No longer with team (7): Adam Carriker (25), Brian Leonard (7), Jonathan Wade (6), Dustin Fry (0), Ken Shackleford (0), Keith Jackson (0), Derek Stanley (0)

Comment: This draft was a disaster for the Rams and made worse by massive organizational changes. On the bright side, the Rams might not have been in position to select Sam Bradford first overall in 2010 without selecting so many non-contributors in 2007.

Now, on to the charts. The first one takes a round-by-round look at the number of starts each team has gotten from its 2007 selections. I have used dashes instead of zeroes to show when teams did not have a selection in a specific round.

The second chart divides the number of starts by the values of the selections each team held, using the draft-value chart.

For example, the value chart said the Seahawks' picks that year were worth 669.2 points, far less than the picks for other NFC West teams were worth. Using this measure, Seattle got more bang for its buck if we valued all starts equally (and we should not value them all equally, but we can still use this as a general guide).

Some of the choices were compensatory and could not be traded, so the chart would not have valued them for trading purposes. I assigned values to them for this exercise, however, because we were not considering the picks for trading purposes.

Catching up with the 49ers' cut list

September, 10, 2009
9/10/09
10:55
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


49ers Player Released on Cutdown Pos. Current Team Capacity
Brit Miller
RB 49ers Practice Squad
Kory Sheets
RB 49ers Practice Squad
Alex Boone
OL 49ers Practice Squad
J.J. Finley
TE 49ers Practice Squad
Dobson Collins
WR 49ers Practice Squad
Dominique Zeigler
WR 49ers Practice Squad
Terrail Lambert
DB -- --
Matt Spanos
OL -- --
Pannel Egboh
DL -- --
Khalif Mitchell
DL -- --
Bill Rentmeester
RB -- --
Jacob Bender
OL -- --
Kyle Howard
OL -- --
Jay Moore
LB -- --
Justin Roland
LB -- --
Mark Washington
LB -- --
Joe Toledo
OL -- --
Bear Pascoe
TE -- --
Maurice Price
WR -- --
Eric Green
DB -- --
The tough decisions teams face in reducing their rosters to 53 players sometimes aren't so tough.

"The 49ers released Kory Sheets!" loses some of its drama when Sheets quietly re-signs to the 49ers' practice squad after none of the other 31 NFL teams submit a waiver claim for him.

I've gone through the initial NFC West cut lists -- those players released at the 53-man deadline -- to see which ones have returned to their teams or caught on elsewhere.

The chart shows results for San Francisco.

The 49ers' initial cut list featured only one vested veteran, cornerback Eric Green. The other 19 players had practice-squad eligibility and the 49ers brought back six of them in that capacity.

The remaining 14 players are unsigned.

Offensive lineman Jacob Bender had a tryout with the Seahawks. The Jets showed interest in tight end Bear Pascoe, only to receive another tight end via waivers.

Sheets impressed during the preseason, but the 49ers were stacked at running back with Frank Gore and Glen Coffee. They valued the versatile Michael Robinson far too much to carry a rookie runner on their 53-man roster in his place.

Ex-49ers with practice-squad eligibility

September, 6, 2009
9/06/09
11:12
AM ET
Ex-49ers eligible for
practice squad
Pos.
Jacob Bender
OL
Alex Boone
OL
Dobson Collins
WR
Pannel Egboh
DL
J.J. Finley
TE
Kyle Howard
OL
Terrail Lambert
DB
Brit Miller
FB
Khalif Mitchell
DL
Jay Moore
LB
Bear Pascoe
TE
Maurice Price
WR
Bill Rentmeester
FB
Justin Roland
LB
Kory Sheets
RB
Matt Spanos
OL
Joe Toledo
OL
Mark Washington
LB
Dominique Zeigler
WR

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


NFL teams can begin forming eight-man practice squads once released players clear waivers this afternoon.

Every player the 49ers released on the reduction to 53 players -- minus cornerback Eric Green -- possesses eligibility for the practice squad. Tackle Alex Boone, guard Matt Spanos, fullback Brit Miller, defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell and running back Kory Sheets could make sense as options. The team will presumably keep one of the tight ends it released, Bear Pascoe or J.J. Finley. Cornerback Terrail Lambert could provide another option.

Some 49ers fans have expressed to me surprise over Sheets' release in particular. The depth San Francisco enjoys at that position made Sheets' release likely.

We likewise should not be surprised if backup running back Glen Coffee plays sparingly as a rookie. Like Sheets, Coffee showed promise during the exhibition games. But with offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye having already committed to Frank Gore as the workhorse back, there won't be many carries left over.

As long as Gore is healthy and his usually productive self, I think Coffee would have to break long runs when given opportunities to siphon significant carries in the No. 2 role.

49ers: Cutdown analysis

September, 5, 2009
9/05/09
5:40
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


Biggest surprise: The 49ers kept only four running backs, two tight ends and eight offensive linemen on the initial cutdown to 53 players, suggesting the team will consider adding players at those positions. This is a power running team, after all. The decision to release both Bear Pascoe and J.J. Finley was a bit of surprise. One of them was expected to serve as the third tight end. Undrafted free agent Diyral Briggs earned a spot at linebacker, edging out Jay Moore. Fullback Brit Miller, running back Kory Sheets and receiver Dominique Zeigler had made positive impressions with fans, but none enjoyed strong roster security. Their releases were not surprising in that context. Coach Mike Singletary had said the 49ers faced few significant roster decisions heading into the final exhibition game. The team did not cut any big-name players.

No-brainers: The 49ers' cut list ran 20 deep and also featured tackle Jacob Bender, tackle Alex Boone, receiver Dobson Collins, defensive end Pannel Egboh, cornerback Eric Green, guard Kyle Howard, cornerback Terrail Lambert, defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell, receiver Maurice Price, fullback Bill Rentmeester, linebacker Justin Roland, offensive lineman Matt Spanos, tackle Joe Toledo and linebacker Mark Washington.

What's next: The 49ers could use a veteran offensive tackle after Marvel Smith retired. They will presumably scan the waiver wire for a fullback. The team will also likely want to add a third tight end.

Practice-squad report: 49ers

August, 21, 2009
8/21/09
11:29
AM ET
49ers eligible for
practice squad
Pos. Perceived Status
Terrail Lambert
DB
Likely cut
Reggie Smith
DB
Keeper
Curtis Taylor
DB
Likely cut
Carlos Thomas
DB
Likely cut
Jahi Word-Daniels
DB
Likely cut
Pannel Egboh
DL
Likely cut
Ricky Jean-Francois
DL
Bubble
Khalif Mitchell
DL
Bubble
Diyral Briggs
LB
Likely cut
Scott McKillop
LB
Keeper
Jay Moore
LB
Bubble
Justin Roland
LB
Likely cut
Mark Washington
LB
Likely cut
Brit Miller
FB
Bubble
Matt Spanos
OL
Likely cut
Cody Wallace
OL
Keeper
Jacob Bender
OL
Likely cut
Kyle Howard
OL
Likely cut
Alex Boone
OL
Bubble
Joe Toledo
OL
Likely cut
Nate Davis
QB
Bubble
Glen Coffee
RB
Keeper
Bill Rentmeester
RB
Bubble
Kory Sheets
RB
Likely cut
Alex Romero
ST
Likely cut
J.J. Finley
TE
Likely cut
Bear Pascoe
TE
Keeper
Mark Bradford
WR
Likely cut
Dobson Collins
WR
Likely cut
Maurice Price
WR
Likely cut
Dominique Zeigler
WR
Bubble

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The quarterback race between Shaun Hill and Alex Smith commands much 49ers-related attention.

The race for the No. 3 job behind them deserves some attention. Veteran Damon Huard has a 15-12 record as an NFL starter. He provides value as an experienced backup. The team also wants to develop fifth-round rookie quarterback Nate Davis.

What to do?

Davis is a project. He will not help the 49ers this season. The question becomes whether another team would sign him to its 53-man roster if the 49ers waived Davis and tried to sign him to their practice squad.

As noted, NFL teams selected 19 quarterbacks in the fifth round from the 2000 through 2008 drafts. Eighteen earned opening-day spots on 53-man rosters as rookies. The Steelers' Omar Jacobs was an exception in 2006, the year Ben Roethlisberger opened on the bench following a motorcycle accident.

The factors that pushed down Davis in the draft -- notably a learning disability that the 49ers see as overstated -- still exist. If teams fear Davis might struggle to learn their system -- and for the sake of this discussion, it doesn't matter if such fears are justified -- the 49ers might have an easier time getting
Davis onto their practice squad.

What would you do?

The chart shows all 31 current 49ers players with eligibility, arranged by position. I left first-round choice Michael Crabtree off the chart because he has not signed with the team.

NFL teams must reduce rosters from 80 to 75 players Sept. 1. They must reduce to 53 players Sept. 5. They can begin forming eight-man practice squads Sept. 6 at noon ET.

As the NFL puts it:

After 12 noon, New York time, clubs may establish a practice squad of eight players by signing free agents who do not have an accrued season of free-agency credit or who were on the 45-player active list for less than nine regular-season games during their only accrued season(s). A player cannot participate on the practice squad for more than three seasons.

The 49ers also face dilemmas at other positions, including what to do at receiver while Crabtree and Brandon Jones are not available, but that third quarterback race stands out.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The 49ers' roster appears most interesting at running back and receiver.

The more I think about how much the 49ers want to pound the ball on offense, the more I see them keeping two fullbacks on the Week 1 roster.

Zak Keasey's broken forearm prevents him from becoming part of the equation early, and it's tough to see a team waiting two months for a backup fullback to get healthy. Enter Bill Rentmeester. Formerly of the Chargers, Rentmeester offers what preseason touchdown machine Brit Miller does not: experience at fullback. For the sake of this roster exercise, I'll pencil in Rentmeester for Week 1.

The numbers at receiver figure to swell while the team waits for Brandon Jones to heal and Michael Crabtree to sign and get ready to contribute.

San Francisco 49ers Week 1 Roster Counts since 2003 QB RB WR TE OL DL LB DB ST
Fewest 3 4 5 2 8 5 6 7 2
Most 4 7 7 4 10 9 8 11 4
Average 3.2 5.2 5.8 3.2 8.8 7.2 7.3 9.3 3.0
Currently on roster
4
8 12 4 14 9 12 14 4

The chart provides a framework for how many players the 49ers might keep at each position heading into the regular-season opener against the Cardinals.

Here's a quick look at which 49ers players I might keep on the cutdown to 53 players (I made one change, moving Cody Wallace into the group of offensive linemen at Joe Toledo's expense):

(Read full post)

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- NFL careers generally do not turn on a single training camp practice. With that dose of perspective in mind, here's a look inside my notebook from the 49ers' practice Monday afternoon:

  • Rookie tight end Bear Pascoe had a rough day. He struggled in pass-protection drills and with his route running. Tight ends coach Pete Hoener was hard on Pascoe during the pass-protection drills. Hoener took a lower-keyed approach to helping with the route running. Good coaches know when to ride a player and when to back off. Hoener seemed conscious of the balance.
  • Manny Lawson again beat left tackle Joe Staley to the outside on a speed rush, something to file away as we monitor Lawson's progress. The 49ers need him to have an impact as a pass rusher. Beating Staley twice in the same day counts as a positive given that Staley is an established player.
  • Linebacker Jay Moore made the most of his afternoon. He contributed to Pascoe's problems in pass-rush drills (Barry Sims and Alex Boone were also Moore's victims, while Boone also lost a matchup against Pannel Egboh). Moore picked off a tipped pass. He later cut a finger batting down a pass near the line of scrimmage.
  • Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin almost avoided contact in beating center Eric Heitmann with a quick move off the ball in pass-rush drills. That's the nature of pass-rush drills. You win some and lose some, and sometimes you look silly.
  • Coaches wanted converted linebacker Brit Miller, now a fullback, to watch how veteran Michael Robinson ran pass routes.
  • Tight end Delanie Walker made a stunning left-handed catch on a crisply delivered short pass from Shaun Hill. The ball hit Walker's left wrist area and seemed to stick. Walker tucked away the ball in one swift motion without help from his other hand.
  • Receiver Dominique Zeigler muffed a punt.
  • Free safety Dashon Goldson knifed through to break up an underneath pass. Goldson's speed must be a welcome sight for the 49ers in the secondary. Playing safety requires more than speed, of course, but the 49ers want to become more athletic at the position. Goldson is more athletic.
  • While coach Mike Singletary wants a physical camp, he called for caution after cornerback Marcus Hudson collided violently with receiver Brandon Jones. Both players went down hard and bounced up quickly, with Jones holding onto the ball.
  • Tight end Vernon Davis continues to catch everything thrown to him. I don't want to inflate expectations here. Davis has to show consistency over time. That said, he has certainly caught the ball well this offseason. I noticed it right away during a visit to 49ers practices a couple months ago.
  • Linebackers Parys Haralson, Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes did not practice in the afternoon. Ahmad Brooks filled in for Haralson and caused problems in the backfield. Singletary singled out Brooks for praise following the morning practice. Brooks seemed to provide a few more contributions in the afternoon.
I realize I've been heavy on 49ers stuff today, but the altnerative would be pretending I'm not at 49ers headquarters watching practices. That wouldn't be any fun.
Draft Round Pick McCloughan's Team Linebacker College Conference
2007 1 11
49ers Patrick Willis
Mississippi
SEC
2006
1 22
49ers Manny Lawson
N.C. St.
ACC
2007
4 104 49ers
Jay Moore
Nebraska
Big 12
2006
4 140 49ers Parys Haralson
Tennessee
SEC
2008
7 214 49ers
Larry Grant
Ohio St.
Big Ten

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

What kind of linebackers have the 49ers preferred since general manager Scot McCloughan and coach Mike Singletary arrived in 2005? The chart shows which ones they wound up selecting, arranged by how early each was drafted.

We discussed the subject about three weeks ago. A subsequent conversation with Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muensch [see his latest chat] might help us identify linebackers fitting the 49ers' profile in the 2009 draft. A pass-rushing outside linebacker would fill one of the 49ers' biggest needs while the team finds out whether Manny Lawson will emerge in the role.

Muensch on the 49ers in the first round

Outside linebacker makes too much sense because of value, need and depth of the class. I keep hearing Aaron Maybin. He did not have a great combine, but on film he is just so quick off the ball.
I think Connor Barwin is a very interesting player, but probably later in the round. Brian Orakpo was the most sought-after guy. If he were to slide, they are in a good position to take a guy that early. With Manny Lawson and Patrick Willis, [McCloughan] has shown a willingness to go in the first round and take that guy.
If they for some reason did get a safety or corner in the first round, Larry English could be a guy for them [as an outside linebacker in the second round]. He is a small-school guy, played at Northern Illinois, but he performed really well at Senior Bowl week. He doesn't have great size and he doesn't have great timed speed, 4.82. But these are guys who are quicker on film than on the track. Certain guys run better in pads. He is just an excellent football player.
Muensch thought English could play situationally as a rookie while making the conversion from defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker.

At inside linebacker, Takeo Spikes played well enough for the 49ers as a free-agent addition last season to project as the starter in the "Ted" role next to Willis. Muensch pointed to South Carolina's Jasper Brinkley as an inside linebacker to watch in the fourth or fifth round: "I think he would be a great fit there because he doesn't have to play for a year."

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

A quick look at 53-man rosters from Feb. 1, date of Super Bowl XLIII, provides a reference point for seeing how NFC West teams have changed so far this offseason.

I'll start with San Francisco.

Gone from the 49ers' 53-man roster and injured reserve list in the 58 days since the Super Bowl (13):

 
  Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
  J.T. O'Sullivan is a former 49er.

Offense

Jamie Martin, QB

J.T. O'Sullivan, QB

Billy Bajema, TE

DeShaun Foster, RB

Sean Ryan, TE

Bryant Johnson, WR

Jonas Jennings, T

Damane Duckett, T

Defense

Keith Lewis, S

Donald Strickland, CB

Roderick Green, LB

Ronald Fields, DL

Tully Banta-Cain, LB

(Read full post)

Draft Round Pick McCloughan's Team Linebacker College Conference
2007 1 11
49ers Patrick Willis
Mississippi
SEC
2006
1 22
49ers Manny Lawson
N.C. St.
ACC
2007
4 104 49ers
Jay Moore
Nebraska
Big 12
2006
4 140 49ers Parys Haralson
Tennessee
SEC
2008
7 214 49ers
Larry Grant
Ohio St.
Big Ten

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The 49ers have drafted five linebackers since general manager Scot McCloughan joined the team in 2005. In projecting what past choices might mean for the 2009 draft, I've eliminated from consideration the linebackers McCloughan's previous teams selected. Those teams favored 4-3 defensive schemes, severely altering draft strategy at the position.

The list, which provides perspective as the 49ers consider drafting linebackers again this year, favors prospects from bigger college programs. Lawson projected as the edge pass rusher San Francisco needed after losing Julian Peterson in free agency. Parys Haralson was another pass rusher the 49ers sought through the draft.

While Lawson showed some promise late last season and Haralson led the 49ers with 8.0 sacks, the team still figures to pursue pass-rush help in the draft -- perhaps even in the first round. We haven't seen the 49ers use second- or third-round choices for pass-rushing linebackers during McCloughan's time with the team. If the pattern holds, the 49ers figure to strongly consider using the 10th overall choice for another piece of their 3-4 puzzle.

Seahawks could catch Senior Bowl break

December, 31, 2008
12/31/08
2:37
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Seahawks' decision to name Jim Mora their head coach in advance could help their draft preparations by letting their staff coach at the Senior Bowl all-star game in February.

Coaching staffs from the teams drafting first and second overall get first crack at coaching Senior Bowl practices, plus the game itself. The experience can afford organizations a better feel for the top prospects. The Lions and Rams would get first chance at coaching the all-star squads, but both organizations are without head coaches for next season. The Lions are turning over their staff. The Rams will also likely make sweeping changes to their staff. It could be hard for them to get coaches in place fast enough.

If the Lions and Rams aren't in position to coach at the Senior Bowl, the Chiefs and Seahawks would be next in line. You can be sure the Seahawks, holding the fourth overall choice, would jump at the opportunity. For good reason.

The 49ers coached at the Senior Bowl the last three years. In 2007, they drafted Senior Bowl participants Patrick Willis, Joe Staley, Jason Hill, Ray McDonald, Jay Moore and Thomas Clayton. In 2006, they drafted Senior Bowl participants Manny Lawson, Michael Robinson, Marcus Hudson and Parys Haralson.

The 49ers drafted only one Senior Bowl participant last year (offensive lineman Cody Wallace). In that case, the experience might have convinced them to avoid certain players.

12-game checkup painful for some

December, 4, 2008
12/04/08
6:46
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

As a followup to the item about injury situations that matter, here's a quick look at the players on injured reserve for each team in the NFC West:

Note that some players leave IR through injury settlements or waivers (the Cardinals' handling of center Al Johnson comes to mind). The players listed above remain on injured reserve.

I also went through and counted how many players for each team have started all 12 games for their teams this season. The counts:

  • 49ers: 11
  • Cardinals: 10
  • Seahawks: 6
  • Rams: 6
Kurt Warner is the only quarterback in the division to start every game for his team this season. The Cardinals have remained remarkably healthy in terms of not losing key players for extended periods. They have their share of players battling through injuries -- Mike Gandy on a bad ankle, Adrian Wilson with a bum shoulder -- but key players remain available.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Receiver Billy McMullen has joined nine other Seattle players on injured reserve as the Seahawks matched Baltimore for the most players on IR heading into Week 7.

Seattle's list features four receivers: McMullen, Logan Payne, Nate Burleson and Ben Obomanu. All but Obomanu started a regular-season game for the Seahawks this season. Obomanu surely would have started had he not been injured during the exhibition season.

Also on IR for Seattle: guard Rob Sims, guard Chris Gray, long snapper Tyler Schmitt, tackle William Robinson, cornerback DeMichael Dizer and linebacker Wesly Mallard.

A quick look at IR lists for the other NFC West teams:

The Rams' IR list includes several players expected to contribute this season. McMichael was a big part of the offense. King was likely going to be the third corner. Manning was playing extensively after injuries sidelined King and Tye Hill. Setterstrom and Gorin comprised much of the team's depth on the offensive line.

Quick look at injured-reserve lists

September, 13, 2008
9/13/08
10:45
AM ET
TeamNFC West player on injured reservePos.Starter
ARIAl JohnsonOLYes
ARIScott PetersOLNo
SEARob SimsOLYes
SEANate Burleson
WR
Yes
SEAChris Gray
OL
No
SEABen ObomanuWRNo
SEATyler SchmittLSNo
SEAWilliam RobinsonOLNo
SEAWesly MallardLBNo
SEADeMichael DizerCBNo
SFAlex SmithQBNo
SFJay MooreLBNo
SFDamane DuckettOLNo
STLJustin KingDBNo
STLMark SetterstromOLNo
STLBrandon GorinOLNo
STLRob PetittiOLNo

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

NFC West teams are carrying 17 players on injured reserve lists. That ranks tied for second with the AFC South by my count, trailing only the AFC North (23).

Seattle has eight players on IR, most in the league. This includes two players I had listed as starters, tied with Jacksonville for most in the league. The Jaguars lost both starting guards.

These figures count only players currently on IR lists. Teams have placed other players on IR, only to waive them once the players became healthy. Some teams have reached injury settlements with players, sparing those players from IR.

Arizona and San Francisco have remained quite healthy so far. The Rams lost key depth at cornerback and along the offensive line. The Seahawks have lost key depth at receiver and on the offensive line.

NFC West teams have no players on their physically unable to perform (PUP) lists. I'm counting 16 players on PUP across the league, including six in the AFC South.

Players on IR get paid. In most cases, they cannot return until the following season.

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