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Sep 1, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith (12) reacts after a touchdown in the first quarter against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

2 Round Mock Draft - Picking The NFC West

One of the best things about this time of year, and my role here at 12thMR, is getting invited to participate in mock drafts with draft experts from around the country. This week, I took part in a 2 round mock for FPFootball.

There were 8 people involved, one picking for every team in a division. I, of course, was picking for the teams in the NFC West.

Picking for teams other than the Seahawks in a draft like this was an interesting challenge. I tried to prepare and make sure I knew what each team needed and the types of players they prefer, but I doubt the fans of those teams will like the decisions I made.

I can say that I took picking for our division rivals seriously. A lot of these picks are ones that I hope they don’t make when the real draft finally gets here in April.

Take a look. And be sure to click the above link to see how the entire 2 round draft unfolded. Let me know in the comments how bad I did.

Cardinals

Strategy: Fix the offense, especially the offensive line.

Drafted Players: QB Geno Smith, OT Terron Armstead

The original plan was to select OT Eric Fisher at #7, but he came off the board before then. That also meant that when Geno Smith dropped to the Cardinals it became a no brainer.  They need a franchise QB, and he’s likely the only one in this draft class.

Besides, the Cardinals were able to draft Terron Armstead in round 2. He’s a bit of a project compared to the first round tackles, but he has a high ceiling and will be better than the embarrassingly bad tackles who played the position for Arizona last season.

Rams

Strategy: Get Sam Brandford some weapons

Drafted Players: WR Tayvon Austin, S Jonathan Cyprien, TE Zach Ertz

Austin provides the Rams with instant upgrade for the offense. He’s not a classic route runner type wide receiver, but he’s still a dynamic athlete that will help Bradford. Ertz was the best player available in round 2 and made too much sense not to select. I know the Rams signed Cook in free agency, but he’s almost exclusively a receiver and offers nothing in terms of in-line blocking. Ertz adds an element that is missing in the offense, as well and just being an overall talent upgrade for the roster.

Jonathan Cyprien is a pick that will likely get some “what the heck?” comments. After Austin was taken, Cyprien gave me a chance to change the script by taking who I thought was the best player available. Safety isn’t a huge need for the Rams, but getting Cyprien gives them a young safety to pair with their young CBs and D-line as they build that defense for the future.

Seahawks

Strategy: Seahawks only have 1 pick in the first 2 rounds. Make it count by getting a playmaker.

Drafted Players: Khaseem Greene, OLB – Rutgers

Greene was a player I didn’t think would be available at #56. He’s an outstanding OLB who, like the other starting LBs in Seattle, is versatile enough to play multiple LB spots. Good against both the run and in coverage, Greene would give Seattle one of the best 4-3 linebacking groups in the entire NFL. I was more interested in getting a starting 3-tech DT, but none were on the board that I was comfortable taking at this spot.

49ers

Strategy: Fix the secondary, especially safety.

Drafted Players: S Matt Elam, CB Desmond Trufant, WR Quinton Patton

Elam was the best safety on the board, and will start right away. Trufant further upgrades their secondary, which is the closest thing to a weakness you’ll find in the 49ers defense.

Patton at the end of round 2 was good value, and provided them with another option at WR, where they need additional talent around their young QB. Thought about taking TE Travis Kelce here to replace the recently departed Delanie Walker, but Patton was above him on my draft board and also filled a need.

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals NFL Draft San Francisco 49ers Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams

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