Friday, April 29, 2011

Round 1 Draft Grades: NFC West

Arizona Cardinals (5): Patrick Peterson, CB LSU Grade: A+
The ONLY guy in the draft that improves your team on two sides of the ball from day one. Peterson is one of the few "can't miss" prospects at the cornerback position and will also make a huge difference in the Cardinals' return game. One of the only low risk, high reward picks.

San Francisco 49ers (7): Aldon Smith, DE Missouri Grade: B+
The first real surprise of the draft when San Francisco went with a man from Missouri not named Blaine Gabbert. Smith is one of the best pass rushers in this draft, but is not so great against the run, which is an area in which San Fran struggled last year. Look for San Fran to make a push for one of the three quarterbacks expected to be selected in the second round in Andy Dalton from TCU, Colin Kaepernick from Nevada, and Ryan Mallett from Arkansas.

St. Louis Rams (14): Robert Quinn, DE/OLB North Carolina Grade: A
Steve Spagnuolo had success with the Giants when he had four pass rushers to rotate in and get after the quarterback. Looks like Quinn adds to St. Louis' already established pass rushers in Chris Long and Adam Hall and the developing George Selvie to form of of the most fearsome foursomes of pass rushers in the NFL.

Seattle Seahawks (25) James Carpenter OT/OG Alabama Grade: C
A tackle in college, Carpenter really helped himself at the senior bowl when he lined up at guard and was effective. This versatility ultimately led to Pete Carroll picking Carpenter. Only problem with this pick is that it is at least one round too early. High risk, mediocre reward. Yikes.

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