Advertisement

NFL draft needs: West divisions

NFL draft needs: West divisions
San Francisco Coach Chip Kelly gestures while talking with Stanford Coach David Shaw, right, during Stanford's NFL Pro Day onMarch 17. (Ben Margot / AP)

The NFL draft will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Chicago. Times NFL writer Sam Farmer examines team needs by division and in order of when they select.

The West divisions:

Advertisement

NFC West

RAMS - The Rams made the biggest trade to the top spot in NFL history, mortgaging their draft future to jump up to No. 1 for a quarterback. All signs point to the franchise taking California's Jared Goff over North Dakota State's Carson Wentz. The Rams had the league's worst passing offense last season, and that's not all because of the quarterback. The team needs help at receiver, too.

-----

-----

49ERS - San Francisco is still unsettled at quarterback for the long term, but might look to its defense with the seventh pick, in particular bolstering the front seven. After all, Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense frequently means that team's defense has to be on the field longer. Kelly might look to defensive end DeForest Buckner, whom he recruited to Oregon.

SEAHAWKS - Offensive line has been an issue for Seattle for at least the past couple of seasons, and now the Seahawks have lost starting guard J.R. Sweezy and tackle Russell Okung. So it wouldn't be surprising if Pete Carroll took an offensive lineman at No. 26, especially with a tackle class that isn't especially deep. The Seahawks might also consider a cornerback or linebacker at that spot.

CARDINALS - Arizona needs to develop a replacement for longtime center Lyle Sendlein, so an interior lineman could be a fit at No. 30. The Cardinals won't ignore the need to further generate a pass rush, especially with Calais Campbell in the last year of his contract. It wouldn't be stunning to see them take Mississippi defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, even with his character concerns.

AFC West

CHARGERS - With the third overall pick, and with quarterbacks going 1-2, San Diego will be in position to take the most highly touted offensive lineman to protect Philip Rivers, or a defensive playmaker the franchise sorely lacks. Some considerations at this spot are Mississippi Ole Miss tackle Laremy Tunsil, or defenders such as Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, or Oregon defensive end Buckner.

RAIDERS - Charles Woodson has retired, and D.J. Hayden hasn't panned out, so Oakland will consider a cornerback with the 14th pick. The Raiders also need to find a long-term answer at left tackle, with Donald Penn turning 33 on Wednesday. The Raiders would be in good position to take a player who could eventually protect the blind side of franchise quarterback Derek Carr.

CHIEFS - Kansas City has needs along the offensive and defensive lines, so that's probably the way the Chiefs will go with the 28th pick. They might be tempted to take a receiver who could complement Jeremy Maclin, however. Clemson outside linebacker Kevin Dodd might be on the board when Kansas City is picking, and he would be a solid fit, especially with his versatility.

Advertisement

BRONCOS - The Super Bowl champions, while still looking for the answer at quarterback, need to bolster their offensive line. Denver was down to starting its fourth and fifth offensive tackles last season. The Broncos also need help along the defensive line, with Malik Jackson gone and Sylvester Williams' future with the franchise in limbo. The club has the luxury of taking the best available player at its spot, the last pick of the first round.

The Rams have the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft Thursday. Coach Jeff Fisher and General Manager Les Snead met with the media Tuesday to discuss who they could select.

Follow Sam Farmer on Twitter @LATimesFarmer

Advertisement
Advertisement