2012 NFL Draft NFC West Day 3 Recap: Rams Revamp Entire Team, Cardinals Get Great Linemen Late

At this point I think it's safe to say the Rams had the best draft of anyone in the NFC West, and maybe of any team in the entire league. After spending the first two days of the draft getting ridiculous value on every pick, the Rams spent Day 3 infusing young talent into nearly every position on the team. The Cardinals got three starting-caliber offensive linemen on Day 3, which is nearly impossible to do. The Seahawks kept on Seahawkin', taking project after project, hoping to take raw pieces of linebacker clay and mold them into some sort of linebacker brick. The Niners didn't have a lot of needs other than explosiveness on offense, which they addressed with the selections of A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James. They decided to fill holes in their depth, picking two offensive linemen and three defensive players, one on each level of the defense.

The Rams began the festivities by selecting WR Chris Givens from Wake Forest. He and Brian Quick give the Rams a couple of fast receivers with good hands and the ability to make people miss in space. The Rams' WR corps is woeful, so this was definitely an area that needed some attention. The Rams then selected Rokevious Watkins, a large but middling guard prospect from South Carolina with good raw tools, but who will need lots of development to make anything out of himself in the NFL.
The next pick was K Greg Zeurlein, who instead of his name and number should wear a sign on the back of his jersey that says "Hey Josh Brown" and then depicts a large middle finger. Zeurlein wowed everyone at the combine with his booming field goals, but this pick was a message to Josh Brown not to let the door hit him in the rear on the way out of town. The Rams' seventh round picks, Aaron Brown and Daryl Richardson, have some talent but are too inconsistent to project as anything other than roster filler.

The Cardinals had an incredible Day 3, mining the draft mountain and finding diamonds in the rough everywhere they went. Bobby Massie inexplicably was available in Round 4, and my head nearly exploded when I saw Nate Potter come off the board in Round 7. Both of those guys were taken two or three rounds too late. This doesn't even mention Senio Kelemete, who is a mammoth guard from Washington who could easily start in a year or so. The Cardinals didn't even address their putrid offensive line until Day 3, and they completely turned it around into a very promising unit. Arizona's other selections were Justin Bethel, an underrated small-school cornerback, and Ryan Lindley, a developmental QB who can compete for time with all the other terrible develomental QBs on the Cardinal roster.

The Seahawks seem to be taking the approach of throwing random items at a wall to see what sticks. Every prospect they drafted is either an incomplete player, a player who didn't start full time, or a player not rated highly by other teams. Robert Turbin was a good choice for the spot he was taken, as the Seahawks desperately needed running back depth. The rest of the defensive players they drafted are just "wait-and-hope" prospects. They all have talent but will need to raise their intensity and focus to succeed.

The Niners seemed to address every need they had on their team, most of those being issues of depth rather than talent, without drafting anyone flashy or hyped save LaMichael James. On Day 3, the team took grinders and tough guys at every position. Joe Looney and Jason Slowey are monsters who will provide depth on the line and help address the team's only question mark- the second guard spot behind Mike Iupati. Darius Fleming will back up the finest LB corps in the league, while Trent Robinson will finally provide the Niners with a genuine backup safety prospect. Cam Johnson is an inconsistent pass rusher at defensive end but when he is at max effort he is tough to deal with. He can be coached up into a premier player at his position.

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