What NFC, AFC West teams seek in NFL draft
The Times’ Sam Farmer analyzes team needs by divisions in four parts ahead of the NFL draft, to be held April 23-25. Today, Part 4, the West, in order teams will draft:
Cardinals: Kyler Murray needed another good receiver, so the Cardinals went out and got the best — DeAndre Hopkins. Now, Arizona needs to protect its No. 1 overall pick with capable blockers. They are in prime position with the seventh selection to take the best offensive lineman, someone who can start immediately at right tackle.
49ers: This is a deep draft for receivers, and the 49ers have two first-round picks. They could be in position to take Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb, the two top wideouts in this class, or they can wait and take an offensive tackle instead. Left tackle Joe Staley is 35 and in the twilight of his career.
Seahawks: Seattle hasn’t kept its original first-round pick since 2011, so there’s a high likelihood the Seahawks will trade back from their spot at 27. Defensive line was the weakness for the Seahawks last year, and they haven’t done a lot in free agency to address that. Last year, the Seahawks started with four picks and turned that into 11 with trades.
Rams: The Rams haven’t had a first-round pick since taking Jared Goff No. 1 in 2016, and they won’t have one next year either. They do have two second-round picks, and could look for a left tackle to succeed Andrew Whitworth, and a deep-threat receiver who can stretch the field the way Brandin Cooks did. A young corner would be nice.
Chargers: With Philip Rivers in Indianapolis, it’s the start of a new era for the Chargers, who are in good position to take a quarterback at No. 6. They have to restock their offensive line, too, even after trading for Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner. This team lacks a speedy playmaker who can take the lid off a defense.
Raiders: Viva Las Vegas — the Raiders have two first-round picks. They might not have their definitive answer at quarterback, but it might be easier to find a receiver first. There should be a lot of good ones where this club is picking (12 and 19). Quarterback is not out of the question, even with the Raiders signing free agent Marcus Mariota.
Broncos: The Broncos have spent a lot of money on their defense, and now it’s time to give second-year quarterback Drew Lock more weapons. A speedy receiver as a bookend to Courtland Sutton would be a fit. Tackle Garett Bolles is in the last year of his deal, and the team probably is ready to move on from him. So getting a lineman is a priority.
Chiefs: The defending Super Bowl champions have a shiny Lombardi Trophy and some glaring needs. They somehow cobbled together a running game last season, but now need a ball carrier. With Stefen Wisniewski gone, the Chiefs need help in the middle. And the defense could use help at linebacker and in the secondary.
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