Fantasy Football

2019 NFL Draft Perfect Fits: NFC West


Smith, Sisqo, Kline, and Hayek. The Wild Wild West.

Snead, Schneider, Keim, and Lynch. The wild, wild NFC West.

With three of the top two picks in the draft in this division, nothing is set in stone. Will Thursday bring chaos to the West? Anarchy, perhaps? Kyler Murray?

Two of the league’s highest-paid quarterbacks versus two of the league’s University of California products on rookie contracts. And if the universe has its way, the first overall pick will be spent on a replacement for one of those rookie contract quarterbacks.

Thursday could not come soon enough for the fans of the NFC West. Now let us find the final perfect draft fits that will have NFC West fans humming “We Are the Champions” a week from today.

2019 NFL Draft Perfect Fits: NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

What They Are Thinking: Flirt with Kyler Murray, Offensive Line> Wide Receiver> Cornerback=Linebacker, WIN NOW?

One of the more thought-provoking decisions this offseason was the Cardinals retaining general manager Steve Keim. After the end of the 2017 season Keim hired head coach Steve Wilks and traded up with Oakland to select Josh Rosen.

Here we are a full calendar year later and deja vu: Wilks was fired after a singular, scapegoat-rific 3-13 season. Meanwhile, Rosen continues to suspiciously shoulder too much heat for the Cardinals 2018 performance.

The Cardinals 2018 offensive line was ranked dead last by PFF after the conclusion of the regular season. David Johnson willed his way to 3.6 YPC behind the same line.

Now we are mired in the classic pre-breakup media awkwardness the NFL so graciously provides every year. Keim continues to make claims he is undecided at first overall, which in itself is terrifying. Everyone is on the board, Steve. You have been on the clock since week 14. Put the whiskey down and do your damn homework.

When assessing the perfect fit for the Cardinals, logic favors one option to reign supreme: trade down to win now. Kingsbury should have more than one year in the desert despite the first year results, especially if Murray is the pick. The idea that Arizona’s ownership group would want to pay three head coach salaries (Wilks, Kingsbury, New Coach) this time next year would be laughable.

The Cardinals roster was devoid of talent at multiple positions. The defense needs playmakers outside of Patrick Peterson after forcing a pathetically low 20 turnovers in 2018. The hope is free agent acquisition Robert Alford fills the second cornerback role, but the rest of the defense outside of Chandler Jones is average at best.

This leaves us with two perfect fits in this year’s draft for Steve Keim and the Cardinals: trade down and/or draft impactful NFL ready players. Trading down would allow for Keim to stay competitive while on his hot seat and address multiple positions. If they can transform the first overall pick into multiple picks, this draft has ideal depth well into day two at the Cardinals positions of need.

6-2 X-receiver and homegrown after-the catch freak N’Keal Harry is a perfect fit for a Cardinals team that needs to continue to bolster their offensive skill positions. It should be a boost to morale down on the desert too. As long as the price is right.

Though he is raw, learning behind Larry Fitz and teaming up with him and Christian Kirk creates a formidable wide receiver room. His potential after the catch is so explosive, the threat of him touching the ball in the screen game could alter defensive fronts. His potential ceiling makes him an investment that would pay dividends now while continuing to improve with every game.

Los Angeles Rams

What They Are Thinking: Plug and Play replacements for Suh (DT), Joyner (S), and Sullivan (C). A long-term heir apparent for Dante Fowler Jr. and Clay Mathews would also be ideal.

Shell-shocked after the most boring defeat in Super Bowl history, the fakest show on turf was exposed by defensive intelligence. By all accounts, Sean McVay is a child prodigy. Most analysts think he has 30-50 years left to polish it off.

What we can say with certainty is Jared Goff is on his rookie contract. But not for long. The Lombardi trophy is once again well within reach for the Rams entering 2019. Any day one or early day two picks would need to emerge as day one starters to be deemed perfect fits. With former starting safety LaMarcus Joyner in Oakland, a dream scenario would include a plug and play option like Florida’s Chauncey Garnder-Johnson. Johnson has risen on draft boards over the past month, even rating out as the top safety overall. He’s too good to fall deep into day 2, so the Rams would have to pull the trigger or trade down to a team drafting early on day two.

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By declining former starting center John Sullivan’s 2019 option, the Rams have left themselves suspect. Center has emerged as a vital position across elite NFL offenses. Tack on Jared Goff’s implied learning curve and a cerebral center with experience will be vital.

Enter Mississippi State’s Elgton Jenkins. Jenkins faced elite SEC defenses every Saturday. He went head to head with fellow MSU prospects Jeffry Simmons and Montez Sweat every day in practice. Above all else, his ability to get off the snap and to the second level could be a driving force in aiding Todd Gurley’s seemingly necessary resurrection.

Just for the fun of it all, don’t count out Josh Jacobs if he is on the board. CJ Anderson demonstrated that McVay can scheme for anyone’s talents as long as their knees are not allegedly arthritic. Jacobs in LA would be a perfect fantasy dynasty fit, despite Todd Gurley’s shiny new contract.

Seattle Seahawks

What They Are Thinking: Do What We Do and Trade Back for EDGE, wide receiver, cornerback, offensive guard.

The Seahawks and their 12 rose in the mid-10s to legendary status, but the Legion of Boom is officially closed for business. They’ve made Russell Wilson the highest paid quarterback in NFL history. Currently they are shopping franchise-tagged Frank Clark for a laughable first-round price tag. In a pass rush deep draft, it will be interesting to see if a team foolishly pays the price.

Are the Seahawks gearing up to do the unorthodox in 2019? Is this a rare year where the Seahawks move up in the first round?
No. It will not be and it is not. John Schneider will always fancy accumulating talent from day two onwards. Their roster is indicative of it. With Clark franchised and being shopped this defensive line heavy draft is just what these Seahawks ordered. At the 21st overall there will be plenty of talent to consider. And even better, the justification to trade back into the top ten on day two. A Classic “Go Hawks” situation.

Whether they still possess the 21st overall pick or not, enter Old Dominion edge rusher Oshane Ximines. The small school product has been rising on big boards over the past month. Similarly to Clark, Oshane gets to the quarterback quick and is fumble forcing machine. He was appreciably productive at ODU, constantly ranking near the top amongst FBS lineman in tackles for loss and sacks throughout his college career. Ximines is a perfect fit to slide into Clark’s role this September.

San Francisco 49ers

What They Are Thinking: EDGE and Pass Rush, Offensive Skill Players, Secondary.

John Lynch keeps doing A-minus things out in the Bay since taking over the general manager job in 2017. The Solomon Thomas pick looms large, but the potential remains after an understandably difficult offseason for the 2017 third overall pick. Meanwhile, fellow 2017 first rounder Reuben Foster no longer mans the middle for the 49ers.

Foster has been replaced by 2018 third rounder Fred Warner and the insanely constructed contract of free agent addition Kwon Alexander. Much has been made of Alexander’s propensity for missing tackles. But the clear intent of bringing in Alexander is his playmaking skills. Alexander had three interceptions in 2017. The Niners had two as a team in 2018. The Niners need playmakers and producers on the defensive side of the ball. Sacks, Turnovers, Pressures.

Retaining embattled defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is an indicator that Lynch believes his defenses continued failures are more personnel based. Ranking in the bottom eight in sacks, interceptions, and forced fumbles, the niners need playmakers.

Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, or Josh Allen? That has been and remains the question facing the Niners since Super Bowl Sunday. After Solomon Thomas’s play at the 3-technique late last season and given the investment, Lynch would have to be convinced that Quinnen Williams would be what Calvin Johnson was to Matt Millen’s prior WR first round picks: GOAT-level talent. After retaining Arik Armstead and considering an extension for budding superstar DeForest Buckner, the interior line would have a lot of mouths to feed entering 2019.

Switching to the offensive side of the ball, the Niners coaching staff had their chance to coach South Carolina redshirt senior Tyshun “Deebo” Samuel in the Senior Bowl. His scouting profile sounds familiar:

2010 Mystery Prospect: 5’11”. 186 lbs. 31” Arms. 9” hands, 4.47 40 yd dash. 4.18 20 yd Shuttle.
2019 Deebo Samuel: 5’11”. 214 lbs. 31 3/8” Arms. 10” hands. 4.48 40 yd dash. 4.14 20 yd Shuttle.

Antonio Brown, our “mystery prospect,” tried his darndest to drive his trade value down and call Santa Clara home. Lynch likely made a character decision by staying out of the Brown chase, but that does not change the Niners need to pair a receiver with Dante Pettis and George Kittle.

Judging by all the times Aldrick Robinson ends up on Shanahan offenses, Shanny clearly likes his guys. If Samuel made a big impression on the Niners coaching staff, expect him to be in discussion late in the first or very early on day two. Drafting Samuel or NC State’s Kelvin Harmon would be the perfect fit for Jimmy G to pair with what should be a three-headed monster of a backfield in Santa Clara.

Looking for more NFL Draft content as we edge closer to the big day? Make sure to check out our 2019 NFL Mock Draft!

2019 NFL Draft Perfect Fits       
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About Samir Qurashi

Samir Qurashi is from the Bay. He thinks football is a good time. You can get at him with any fantasy football questions on the tweeter: @FSPsamir and by electronica: He remains unspooked.

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