The Cardinals have emerged as a heavyweight in a NFC behind a talent-laden register installed with immature playmakers. The “Birdgang” will sojourn among a NFL’s chosen with a rookie category that showed extensive guarantee via a season. David Johnson is an considerable all-purpose RB1 with a size, strength and speed to broach bomb plays as a curtain or receiver. He amassed over 1,000 struggle yards — and unequivocally delivered a products as a Cardinals’ underline behind down a widen of a season. J.J. Nelson flashed big-play ability as a low hazard on a perimeter. Although he usually snagged 11 receptions during a unchanging season, 7 of those grabs went for 20-plus yards, display a glance of his impact potential. Markus Golden was a good find as an enterprising pass rusher off a edge. He not usually has a knack for removing home (four sacks, to go along with dual forced fumbles), though he plays with a relentless suggestion that energizes a unit. D.J. Humphries unsuccessful to make a certain sense as a rookie, though he stays a gifted awaiting with measureless potential. Grade: B+
Combine focus: The Cardinals’ invulnerability needs to feed a active rushers along a front line, something they could do with a No. 29 collect in a draft. Thus, a group expected will spend many of a mix visiting with a likes of Eastern Kentucky’s Noah Spence, Georgia’s Leonard Floyd, Utah State’s Kyler Fackrell and Boise State’s Kamalei Correa to see if they can fill roles as corner rushers. The Cardinals also could investigate Clemson’s Kevin Dodd and Oregon’s DeForest Buckner to plan their intensity as five-techniques in Arizona’s 3-4 scheme.
Beyond apparent shortcomings during quarterback, a Rams have fabricated a gifted collection of players on both sides of a round during a Jeff Fisher era. The authorization continued to supplement peculiarity youngsters in 2015, with blue-chipper Todd Gurley headlining a prolific rookie category that finished evident contributions in Year 1. The Offensive Rookie of a Year rushed for over 1,100 yards in usually 13 games (12 starts), displaying a balance, physique control and explosiveness to take it a stretch from anywhere on a field. Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown and Cody Wichmann anchored an descent line that paved a approach for Gurley’s prevalence between a tackles. Andrew Donnal also contributed as a profitable backup/spot starter during a season. With a Rams removing pivotal prolongation from a series of first-year players, a destiny looks splendid for a Rams. Grade: A-
Combine focus: The Rams, who reason a 15th altogether pick, are a quarterback divided from fasten a pretension contenders in a NFC. The group desperately needs a proven playmaker during a game’s many critical position, that will lead Fisher and ubiquitous manager Les Snead to spend large hours study North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz, Cal’s Jared Goff and Memphis’ Paxton Lynch to consider their intensity as authorization vigilance callers. Despite an annual investment in a far-reaching receiver position, a Rams still need a widespread playmaker on a corner to element Tavon Austin. Mississippi’s Laquon Treadwell, Baylor’s Corey Coleman, TCU’s Josh Doctson and Ohio State’s Michael Thomas could be in a team’s crosshairs formed on their intensity as WR1s.
The fast decrease of a 49ers has been staggering. The group usually has mislaid too many talent — in further to an well-developed conduct manager — to contest in one of a toughest groups in football. The Niners saw a ton of maestro care travel out a doorway before to final deteriorate (see: Patrick Willis, Justin Smith and Frank Gore), and San Francisco didn’t get adequate assistance from a rookie category to make adult a difference. (An unfit task, really.) Still, there are some things to be vehement about going forward. Arik Armstead finished extensive strides as a rookie notwithstanding usually logging one start. He could grow into a plain plugger along a interior. Jaquiski Tartt finished contributions on a second turn as a designated thumper between a hashes. The 49ers should be speedy by a flashes displayed by Mike Davis and Blake Bell in mark avocation — a immature descent playmakers should minister as rotational guys going forward. Grade: C+
Combine focus: San Francisco owns a No. 7 altogether collect in a draft. With Chip Kelly entrance on board, it stays to be seen what a 49ers’ new manager thinks of a dual QBs who started games final year (Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert). The new coaching staff could set a sights on a immature QB awaiting to build around. Cal’s Jared Goff, North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz and Memphis’ Paxton Lynch could get extended looks during a combine, formed on their talent and knowledge directing widespread offenses in college. The 49ers are also in need of some-more speed during far-reaching receiver, that creates Baylor’s Corey Coleman, Notre Dame’s Will Fuller, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller and Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins estimable of investigation from a team’s coaches and scouts.
Seattle has finished a good pursuit of building immature players in a Pete Carroll era. The Seahawks have not usually helped mid-to-late-round selections play during a high level, though they also have gotten well-developed performances from some of their UDFAs (undrafted giveaway agents) in new years. The Seahawks might’ve stumbled on Beast Mode 2.0 in Thomas Rawls. The undrafted giveaway representative tallied 4 100-yard games (including one 200-yard effort) and showed group officials he was a able workhorse runner. How good he recovers from his season-ending ankle damage could establish either a Seahawks continue to deposit in a position. Among a 2015 draftees, Tyler Lockett and Frank Clark played like seasoned vets in their sold roles. Lockett, in particular, displayed superb skills as a receiver/returner on a approach to scoring 8 sum touchdowns (six receptions, one punt lapse and one flog return) during his rookie campaign. He looks like a healthy WR2 conflicting Doug Baldwin, that should inspire Carroll to carve out a bigger purpose for Lockett in Year 2. Clark is an enterprising corner defender with a uninterrupted engine and bomb rush skills. He finished with 3 sacks and showed a knack for removing home off a edge. With some-more personification time, he should freshness as a DPR1 (designated pass rusher) in a Seahawks’ assertive scheme. Grade: B+
Combine focus: Lynch’s retirement army Seattle to reassess a state of a backfield. As mentioned above, a Seahawks got earnest earnings from Rawls in Year 1, though they’ll have to see how he recovers from damage — and honestly, they’re not going to make him a unquestioned RB1 after a plain half-season of work. This breeze category offers copiousness of appealing options for Seattle during using behind — guys like Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott, Alabama’s Derrick Henry and Arkansas’ Alex Collins fit a franchise’s mold as imperishable inside runners with soothing hands in a flitting game. Carroll will compensate tighten courtesy to their mix workouts to establish if they have a ability to minister immediately in a revamped descent intrigue that will put some-more shortcoming on Russell Wilson’s shoulders in 2016. Meanwhile, Russell Okung is a giveaway agent, that creates descent tackle a outrageous priority for a group (which binds a No. 26 pick, by a way). Mississippi’s Laremy Tunsil, Michigan State’s Jack Conklin, Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley and Ohio State’s Taylor Decker will all get prolonged looks, though their workouts on a margin territory could establish either a Seahawks perspective them as ideal fits during left tackle.
Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.