2015 NFL Draft Review: NFC West

St. Louis Rams Since Jeff Fisher and Les Snead took over in St. Louis, they have done a wonderful job drafting. This year was no different, but there is some risk. By taking Georgia running back Todd Gurley with their first round pick, they are hoping he will revert back to pre-injury form. While the chances of that are very good, there have been cases of running backs not returning to pre-injury form. At his best, Gurley is a great all around back, and there isn’t anything he can’t do. If healthy, he could be a future Pro Bowler. I’m not in love with the Rob Havenstein pick. I would have rather taken him in the third round. He is very big and was productive in the Wisconsin offense, but he has very average movement skills and is not really powerful. Still, he could play for a long time as a rank and file NFL lineman. Jamon Brown, the big lineman from Louisville, is a solid pick. He is big, tough, and powerful and should be able to play tackle or guard. Quarterback Sean Mannion is a work in progress. He needs to become quicker with his decision making. In a way, he is very similar to Nick Foles when he came out of Arizona. Andrew Donnal is a typical Iowa offensive lineman. He is tough and very technically sound. He should be able to back up at both guard and tackle. Missouri receiver Bud Sasser is more of a developmental type but could be good on special teams. With the Rams selecting four offensive linemen, guard/tackle Cody Wichmann will have a tough time making the team, but he has the talent to be a quality backup in the league. Linebacker Bryce Hager is a good run-and-hit type and should also do well on special teams. Martin Ofedi is an interesting guy. I thought he would get drafted higher. He needs to get stronger, but he has a top motor and instincts.   Arizona Cardinals Florida tackle D.J. Humphries has as much upside as any player in this draft. He is still raw because he hasn’t played a lot of football, but with his athleticism and length, he can be an ideal tackle in the Cardinals scheme. Paired with Jared Veldeer, Arizona may have the most athletic tackles in the league. Markus Golden didn’t get all the publicity that Shane Ray got, but he is a top playmaker. He is consistent versus both the run and the pass and is a good fit for the Cardinals defensive scheme. I have to admit, I underrated Northern Iowa running back Davis Johnson. He is a big back with speed. He will play a complementary role as a rookie, but by year two, he could very well be the bell cow. His overall game is very solid. The Cardinals sent their D-Line coach to Delaware State to work out defensive tackle Rod Gunter shortly before the draft. He came back with a thumbs up review, and the Cardinals took a chance with their fourth round pick. Gunter is raw but has great upside. He will play in the rotation as a rookie. West Virginia’s Shaq Riddick has very good pass rush traits. Like Gunter, he is raw but has excellent potential. Don’t expect to see receiver J.J. Nelson do much more than return kicks. At 158 pounds, he might get killed trying to run routes against NFL corners. Louisville tight end Gerald Christian may be the last pick in the draft, but he has the talent to be a good backup type in the league.   San Francisco 49ers Oregon defensive lineman Arik Armstead has the natural physical traits to be a very good 5-technique. The problem is, he never played that well while at Oregon. He is still very much in the developmental stage and may never pan out. Some question his toughness and love of the game. Stamford safety Jaquiski Tartt is a box safety who may have some trouble in deep coverage. He has great football character and will do whatever it takes to become a good NFL player. I feel Virginia outside linebacker Eli Harold was a steal. I felt he was a guy who could very easily get drafted somewhere between 25 and 40. He has very good pass rush traits and is solid versus the run. A great third round pick. Oklahoma tight end Blake Bell has more talent than production. The former quarterback has only been a tight end for a year and is still learning the position. South Carolina’s Mike Davis has the game that translates well to the NFL. He is a good inside runner and a quality receiver. I felt he played a bit too heavy in 2014. Georgia Tech’s DeAndre Smelter will need a red shirt year after tearing his ACL in December. Coming from the Georgia Tech option offense, that may be a blessing. He will need that time to learn about the nuances of an NFL passing game. I see Bradley Pinion, Ian Silberman, and Trenton Brown as developmental, practice squad types. The 49ers' last selection, South Carolina tight end Rory Anderson has the natural tools to be a good “move’ tight end. He needs some development, but I like his upside.   Seattle Seahawks After trading for tight end Jimmy Graham the NFC champs didn’t have a first round pick. Their second round pick has caused a lot of controversy. Michigan defensive lineman Frank Clark had a domestic violence charge reduced and settled before the draft. There are many upset with the district attorney about the plea bargain and many fans upset by the selection. As a player, Clark has the skill set to be an ideal fit in the Seattle scheme. He is a good pass rusher and tough versus the run. Kansas State receiver Tyler Lockett is an ideal slot receiver. He lacks bulk, but he is very fast and shifty and could be very productive in that offense. San Diego State offensive lineman Terry Poole played tackle in college but is more suited to play guard in the NFL. I see him as a backup, but there is some upside. West Virginia’s guard, Mark Glowinski, is a tough overachiever who will make himself into a good player. Tye Smith is a developmental corner who should be able to play inside or outside. He isn’t quite ready for prime time, but Seattle does an outstanding job developing defensive backs. Obum Gwacham will most likely need a year on the practice squad as he has only played one season as a defensive end. He was a receiver at Oregon State. Don’t be surprised if Kristjan Sokoli, a defensive tackle from Buffalo, makes the Seattle squad. Playing on a below average team, Sokoli didn’t get much attention until he put up great numbers at the Buffalo pro day. Sokoli is strong tough and instinctive with a top motor. He is a good fit for the Seattle scheme and can play any position along the line. Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

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