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NFC West Report: Michael Sam a Ram While Seahawks, Cardinals Add Speed

Posted May 12, 2014

Time to cover the NFL Draft from a divisional perspective. How did St. Louis, Arizona and Seattle fare over the weekend?


San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke didn't want Michael Sam in the NFC West.

“Good football player that wish would’ve not went to the Rams," Baalke said during his post-NFL Draft wrap with reporters. "Wish he’d have went to another team so we didn’t have to play against him."

The exec thought that highly of Sam, a seventh-round draftee of St. Louis known more for coming out as gay during the winter than for showcasing his talents this spring for scouts.

“And you look at what has done in his college career, was he a fit for us? Yeah, we could use him,” Baalke said of the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year. "Certainly a guy (that) has make-it traits and is going get every opportunity to do that.”

In many ways, Sam was the story of the draft. His selection was a historic one. 

But he's also just one of 19 new football players on divisional rivals' teams. For more, let's go squad by squad.

Arizona Cardinals

First choice: The Cards spent the 27th overall selection on Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. At 6 feet, 1 inches and 211 pounds, he's a physical player that should compete to eventually start alongside Tyrann Mathieu.

Six classmates: Tight end Troy Niklas (52nd overall), defensive end Kareem Martin (84th), wide receiver John Brown (91st), quarterback Logan Thomas (120th), defensive end Ed Stinson (160th) and wide receiver Walt Powell (196th).

Expert's analysis: "The Thomas pick will get a lot of press, and it will be interesting to see how Bruce Arians develops him. Stinson has all the physical tools you look for and should fit in well on defense." --  NFL.com's Bryan Fischer

St. Louis Rams

First choices: The Rams spent the second and 13th overall selections on offensive tackle Greg Robinson and defensive tackle Aaron Donald. NFL Media expert Mike Mayock said Robinson reminded him of former St. Louis great Orlando Pace as soon as he turned the Auburn game film on. Some think Donald, meanwhile, could be the next John Randle.

Nine classmates: Cornerback Lamarcus Joyner (41st overall), running back Tre Mason (75th overall), strong safety Mo Alexander (110th), cornerback E.J. Gaines (188th), quarterback Garrett Gilbert (214th), offensive tackle Mitchell Van Dyk (226th overall), free safety C.B. Bryant (241st overall), defensive end Michael Sam (249th), center Demetrius Rhaney (250).

Expert's analysis: "Perhaps the champs of the first two days of the draft, St. Louis found some nice finds on Day 3. Alexander can get lost in coverage at times but is explosive. Gaines limited Mike Evans and has potential. There will be plenty of discussion about the pick of Sam, but on top of being historic, it gives the team another pass-rush threat for an already dangerous front seven." -- Fischer

Seattle Seahawks

First choice: After trading out of the last pick of the first round, the Seahawks spent the 45th overall selection on Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson. The Colorado product ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine, and Mayock thinks he's a "poor man's DeSean Jackson."

Eight classmates: Offensive tackle Justin Britt (64th overall), defensive end Cassius Marsh (108th), wide receiver Kevin Norwood (123rd), outside linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis (132nd), defensive tackle Jimmy Staten (172nd), offensive tackle Garrett Scott (199th overall), free safety Eric Pinkins (208th overall), running back Kiero Small (227th).

Expert's analysis: "Another draft in which Pete Carroll gets the guys he wants where he wants. There were perhaps some reaches in there, but you have to really like adding Richardson and the underrated Norwood on offense. Marsh can be very versatile in the Seahawks' scheme." -- Fischer