NFL Draft Grades: NFC West
With the 2021 NFL Draft officially complete, theScore's NFL editors hand out their initial grades for how teams fared.
The Cardinals' 2021 draft class checks a lot of boxes, but it isn't flawless. Collins has traits that Arizona has been looking to add to the middle of its defense for a long time, but his selection at No. 16 probably marks a reach - we ranked the Tulsa product 39th on theScore's top 50 big board. The Cardinals' best pick was Moore, whose explosiveness and play-making ability should create mouth-watering options for coach Kliff Kingsbury from Day 1. Arizona also added good value on most of its Day 3 picks, especially Menet.
Los Angeles Rams
It's hard to understand the Rams' strategy. The team wasn't on the clock until the 57th selection, but why did Los Angeles use its first pick to draft Atwell in the second round? A wide receiver wasn't the Rams' top need, and Atwell - a 5-foot-9, 155-pound pass-catcher - enters the NFL with plenty of questions. Additionally, L.A. didn't add to its offensive line. Granted, the unit is coming off an above-average campaign, but it clearly has room for more depth, at least in specific spots. Not even the Rams' interesting fourth-round pickups in Brown and Rochell save the club from having one of the NFL's worst grades this year.
San Francisco 49ers
After weeks of speculation, the 49ers landed on Lance as their new franchise quarterback. While Lance is certainly the rawest passer taken in the first round, his upside is much more worthy of the No. 3 pick and the haul of picks San Francisco gave up to acquire it than Mac Jones would've been. Kyle Shanahan's offense has always been a quarterback's dream, and now he has a player in Lance who has the ability to transcend his scheme with off-script plays. Banks wasn't great value at No. 48, but he's the kind of road-grinder that will fit right into the 49ers' ground game. Sermon was arguably a luxury pick. Still, Shanahan loves to use a committee approach to his backfield, and Sermon is a natural fit in a zone-based attack.
One of the rare three-man draft classes. The Seahawks' scarcity of picks means their ceiling is capped, but the franchise did well with the resources it had. Eskridge was arguably a bit of a reach in the second round, but Seattle needed a third wideout behind Lockett and Metcalf. The speedster should be a great fit for Russell Wilson and will provide extra value as a returner. Brown doesn't have the size Pete Carroll usually covets at cornerback, but he's highly experienced and will be able to immediately compete for a starting role. Forsythe has experience at both left and right tackle, so he will fit in well as a depth option behind Duane Brown and Brandon Shell.
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