The NFL offseason will culminate with next week’s 2020 NFL Draft.
Once the draft finishes, rosters are pretty much set until training camp opens up in the summer.
The San Francisco 49ers are returning most of their big name stars after winning the NFC West last season with a 13-3 record and look to be the class of the division again heading into 2020.
NFL.com’s Adam Maya wrote about what he thinks of the Niners going into next week:
“The window should still be open. The 49ers were built to last more than one season. History just hasn’t been kind to teams in their position. Over the last 25 seasons, only the 2018 Patriots have returned to the Super Bowl the year after losing it. The past five NFC champions failed to take their division the following season, including the Eagles after they won Super Bowl LII. San Francisco can help itself next week by making the most of its two first-round picks, which could be used to trade back for more selections. The Niners badly need reinforcements at wide receiver, offensive line, defensive tackle and in the secondary, all of which can be found in this draft. Even if they hit on their defensive picks, some regression to the mean is expected for a unit that ranked among the very best last year. That’s why it’s paramount to upgrade some of the personnel alongside QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who looks to be more facilitator than playmaker. How well everyone performs around him might determine whether the 49ers buck history.”
Maya writes the biggest offseason loss in the division is San Francisco trading away star defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, which is an easy choice.
The no-brainer for best acquisition in the division is the Arizona Cardinals getting all-pro DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans for 20 cents on the dollar.
I agree with Maya that the Cardinals improved the most out of the NFC West teams. Quarterback Kyler Murray will look to build off a solid rookie season, while on the other side of the ball, Arizona has brought in some nice pieces in Devon Kennard and Jordan Phillips.
The Cardinals always play the Niners tough, so I can see them making a charge for the NFC West crown.
The Seattle Seahawks will look at addressing their offensive line at the draft, but they will have a huge hole to fill with the rumored departure of defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney. As we discussed in the open thread yesterday, they also still have Russell Wilson, a player who always seems to be at his best best against San Francisco. The Seahawks also made a nice move acquiring CB Quinton Dunbar from Washington for a fifth-round pick.
Meanwhile, the L.A. Rams have bled talent in the offseason as the team is trying to clear up some cap space. The Rams don’t have a first round pick in 2020, but do have two second-round and two-third rounders. In a deep draft, L.A. can add some nice pieces to help rebuild.
With the draft fast approaching, what is your overall grade for each of the NFC West teams so far this offseason?
Onto some more links: