Continuing in our series of draft picks to watch, it’s time to move on to the NFC. The Rams took the NFC West by storm in 2017, and promptly traded away their top three draft picks to acquire Brandin Cooks and Marcus Peters. The Seahawks are trying to get younger after cutting Richard Sherman and trading Michael Bennett. The division is going to start with the Rams as heavy favorites, but it should be wide open behind them.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers made a huge investment in their future, giving Jimmy Garoppolo a massive contract, and traded up in the second round to get him some help. Pettis is an experienced receiver with reliable hands who can produce from day one at the NFL level. He’s also the all-time NCAA leader in punt return touchdowns so he can help the 9ers on multiple levels. He brings size and great route running to a team that needed major help at receiver in 2017.
The Seahawks got a major value pick taking the Ohio State tackle in the fifth round. Some deemed him too small to play tackle, but the Seahawks are getting a polished blocker from a top tier program. He’ll be able to open a lot of holes for first-round running back Rashaad Penny and be a better option in pass protection than Germain Ifedi. The Seahawks will rely on Penny a lot this year, but he won’t be able to do much without help from Jones.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams didn’t have many picks, but they used a fifth rounder on the co-Big 12 defensive player of the year. Okoronkwo has the ability to create a lot of pressure off the edge and is a perfect fit for Wade Phillips’ defense.
With Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh creating so much havoc on the interior, Okoronkwo will get a lot of one on one opportunities on the edge. The Rams are going to need players to step up at outside linebacker, after trading away Robert Quinn, and they just may have found their next star outside pass rusher.
A speedy, high upside receiver, the Cardinals are going to need him no matter who’s playing quarterback. Kirk produced very well at Texas A&M, and with Larry Fitzgerald going into year 15 in the NFL, the Cardinals need to start preparing for life after number 11.
Kirk could help ease that pain, as he would be able to make an impact right away, and has a lot of time on the practice field to build chemistry with the 10thoverall pick Josh Rosen. Like Pettis, Kirk also has the ability to help in the return game and should be a home run threat to help a Cardinals offense that was scrounging for points last season after losing David Johnson for the season due to a Week One wrist injury.