The first wave of free agency is done and about 95 percent of the biggest names have been signed. I could go and do free agency grades for each team, but that is way too much work. A quick filler if you haven’t been paying attention: The Browns actually did good things, AP is still free and the Patriots killed it because apparently Bill Belichick has never made a mistake in his life. Now onto the NFC West.
San Francisco 49ers: Pick 2
Draft Needs: Everything
Ho boy. The 49ers are bad. This is without a doubt the lowest point in franchise history. Former GM Trent Baalke and owner Jed York did their absolute best to tank their organization, and they succeeded. However, with Kyle Shanahan as the new head coach and John Lynch as the new GM, things are on the up and up. During FA, the Niners filled some needs and picked up Brian Hoyer (QB), Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin (WRs) and Malcolm Smith (LB). Their draft strategy should be ridiculously easy: Pray the Browns royally screw up, then draft Myles Garrett. However, that’s unlikely. Instead, the 49ers will probably end up drafting DE Solomon Thomas out of Stanford. Thomas is an absolute freak and is one of the best pass rushers in the nation. He would provide immediate help and leadership to a lost 49ers team.
Los Angeles Rams: No First-Round Pick
I hope Jared Goff was worth trading for this year’s first-round pick. (Spoiler Alert: He wasn’t.)
Seattle Seahawks: Pick 26
Draft Needs: OT, DT, CB
The Seahawks, per usual, are a strong team. ICYMI, they recently signed RB Eddie Lacy, which just makes them more competitive. What they need to do now is bolster the offensive line to give Lacy and Thomas Rawls some running room and Russell Wilson some pocket protection. This is a pretty weak NFL draft for linemen, but I believe LT Garret Bolles out of Utah would be an incredible addition — if he isn’t swooped up by the Giants first. Bolles is a bull who can hang with any end in the business. He is hyperaggressive and excels at making tackles at the second level. Bolles brings a type of physicality that will be worshipped up in Seattle.
Arizona Cardinals: Pick 13
Draft Needs: SS, QB, OT, ILB, DE
Wow. The Cardinals really blew free agency. They lost: DE Calais Campbell, SS Tony Jefferson, CB Marcus Cooper and SS D.J. Swearinger. In other words, they lost half of their defense. The Cardinals relied on their defense and their stellar play — and the play of RB David Johnson, of course. After losing their best players, it is essential that they draft defensively, regardless of their woes at QB. I believe the first place to start is at strong safety, where they lost the great Tony Jefferson. This draft isn’t too strong at SS, but I think that if he is available, Jabrill Peppers of Michigan will be a great addition to the Cards. He is strong, fast, versatile and an athletic phenom. Just imagining him and Tyrann Mathieu swapping positions all over the field gets me all hot and sweaty.