NFC West: Tracking the Cardinals’ division rivals in the NFL Draft
The Arizona Cardinals got their guy at No. 8 on Thursday, taking Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons.
But NFC West teams did their best to improve their squads once the Cardinals became the first in the division to make a pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The San Francisco 49ers, who went to the Super Bowl this year, had two first-round picks (13, 31) entering Thursday. The Los Angeles Rams had none, and the Seahawks had one (27).
Here’s a look at what each of the Cardinals’ NFC West rivals did in the NFL Draft:
San Francisco 49ers
Selections: DT Javon Kinlaw (14th overall), WR Brandon Aiyuk (25th overall)
The Super Bowl runner-ups had the 31st overall pick that was their own, along with the 13th overall pick that they got for sending DT DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts. Fittingly, they essentially replaced Buckner with South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw 14th overall after trading back one spot with Tampa Bay.
Then, San Francisco traded again. This time, they came up to the 25th overall pick, giving up the 31st pick along with No. 117 and 176 overall to Minnesota. With that, the 49ers took ASU wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.
Aiyuk fills a void at wide receiver left empty by the departure of Emmanuel Sanders via free agency this offseason.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams traded their 2020 first-round pick — among other things — to get cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Selections: LB Jordyn Brooks (27th overall)
Somewhat of a surprise pick, Seattle went with Big Ten linebacker Jordyn Brooks in the first round. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein projected him as a second-rounder but said he has potential as a future starter at inside linebacker.