The NFC West has gone from the worst division in football to possibly the most competitive in the league over the past few seasons. In 2012, the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks both made the playoffs, with the latter earning a win and the former earning a trip to the Super Bowl.
By all accounts, the NFC West did pretty well for itself this past weekend during the 2013 NFL Draft, with few exceptions. Most feel that all four teams made positive strides overall, with particular praise given to the 49ers. The St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals also seemed to get better at a few key positions, as well.
Let's take a look at how some of the overall grades have been shaping up around the Internet. We'll point to some grades from SB Nation's Dan Kadar, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., CBS Sports' Rob Rang and SI.com's Chris Burke.
San Francisco 49ers
Kadar's A+ Pick: S Eric Reid
The 49ers did some great things in this draft, and that's due to the fact that they entered it with 13 picks, the most in the NFL. They made a trade to land Eric Reid in the first round, and then found very solid value with Cornellius Carradine in the second round, snaring the successors for Dashon Goldson and Justin Smith in the long run. They also could hit on Marcus Lattimore, who will be a fantastic addition if he comes back from his injury anywhere near 100 percent.
St. Louis Rams
Kadar's A+ Pick: WR Tavon Austin
The Rams have a long way to go to make the playoffs, but it starts with winning the NFC West, and after going 3-1-1 in the division last season, they're on the right track. Putting their eggs in the Sam Bradford basket, they traded up to land wide receiver Tavon Austin and this draft will hinge on that pick. They also landed probably starters in Alec Ogletree and Barrett Jones to bolster their class.
Kadar's A+ Pick: None
The Seahawks didn't earn an 'A+' pick from SB Nation's Kadar, but that's due to the absence of a first-round pick (it was traded to the Minnesota Vikings for Percy Harvin) and the fact that they don't really have open spots in their starting lineup. Seattle is pretty much set for now, but they still managed to earn unanimous 'B' grades due to the fact that they seemed to snare impressive value all over the draft.
Kadar's A+ Pick: G Jonathan Cooper
The Arizona offensive line was aggressively bad last season, and they desperately needed to improve in that area. With the selection of Cooper in the first round, they did just that, and the addition of Earl Watford in round four is an underrated selection at this point, too. He can turn out to be a starter in the near future. On top of that, the Cardinals got a starting linebacker in Kevin Minter and two capable running backs in Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington.