May 8, 2014; New York, NY, USA; A general view of a helmet and NFL shield logo before the start of the 2014 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: NFC West 1st round selections, analysis

The Seahawks’ NFC West foes made some big picks in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft as they work to dethrone the defending champs this season.

The Rams had two picks in the first round and worked to upgrade both their offensive and defensive lines with two Top 15 draft selections.

The Cardinals traded back to No. 27 after originally having the No. 20 pick in the draft. Many thought they should have picked up a quarterback to back up Carson Palmer, but Arizona instead chose to upgrade an already tough secondary.

The 49ers also picked up an upgrade in the secondary which they have been looking for since last season.

Here is the list of selections by NFC West teams thus far:

St. Louis Rams Selections

No. 2 = Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

The Rams had a number of different options with the No. 2 pick in the draft. After Jadeveon Clowney was selected, St. Louis could have had anyone in the draft class. They showed confidence in their long-term commitment to Sam Bradford by drafting Robinson, perhaps the best offensive lineman in the draft class.

With protection in place for Bradford, the Rams used their next pick, which came just 11 picks after Robinson’s selection, to improve their defensive line.

No. 13 = Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh

When looking for “help” on a great defensive line, the Rams could not have done much better than Donald. It’s not like the Rams really needed another big man on the D-line, but now that they have Donald, their defensive line should be considered among the league’s best. Playing in between Robert Quinn and Chris Long, Donald will have a chance to get into the backfield and wreak havoc for opposing teams with weak offensive lines (i.e the Seahawks).

Arizona Cardinals Selection:

No. 27 = Deone Bucannon, S, Washington State

When the Cardinals were first on the clock for this pick, I thought it made the most sense for them to draft a quarterback to learn the offense while Carson Palmer’s sun sets in the desert. Derek Carr seemed prime to hear his name called. But then the Cardinals went in the exact opposite direction, drafting Bucannon, a hard-hitting safety from WSU. Arizona doesn’t need a ton of help in a secondary that already features Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie and Tyrann Mathieu, but maybe they are trying to make a Legion of Boom of their own in Glendale. If that’s the idea, Bucannon was the right choice and it will make passing the ball against the Cardinals a lot more difficult.

San Francisco 49ers Selection:

No. 30 = Jimmie Ward, S, NIU

Ward will share time with Antoine Bethea to replace Donte Whitner, who signed with the Cleveland Browns this offseason. Ward has great coverage skills and quick hands so as great as he is at tackling, he isn’t afraid to reach up and pick off passes. Much like the Cardinals improvement, it means the Seahawks may have a more difficult time passing the ball against the 49ers. Ward might also move into the corner position, as coach Jim Harbaugh said after the pick:

The Seahawks traded their first round pick to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for a second and fourth round pick.

Seattle still has seven picks left in the draft, which will start up again at 3:30 p.m. on Friday with Rounds 2-3.

Here is a list of the Seahawks remaining picks in the draft:

  • Round 2, Pick 40
  • Round 2, Pick 64
  • Round 4, Pick 108
  • Round 4, Pick 132
  • Round 5, Pick 146
  • Round 5, Pick 172
  • Round 6, Pick 208

The rest of the draft will also be available to watch on ESPN.

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