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NFC West

NFC West: 4 bold predictions for the 2021 offseason

The NFC West has been one of the more competitive divisions in football. The Seattle Seahawks won the division last year and aim to do it again. The rumors swirling around Russell Wilson have got to cool down for this franchise to move forward. Finding him some necessary protection should go a long way in fixing the relationship.

The Los Angeles Rams recently traded some picks and Jared Goff away to the Detroit Lions, in exchange for Matthew Stafford. With one of the best defenses in the league and an already solid offense, LA is looking like a potential favorite to win the NFC South. However, their offensive line was weak last year, which means they should be focusing on addressing that need to take over the division.

Kliff Kingsbury led the Arizona Cardinals to an 8-8 record. Some believe this team is better than their record shows, as Kyler Murray is one of the best young quarterbacks in the league. Their offense is close to becoming legit, however, this franchise needs to bulk up the defense if they want to soar to the playoffs next year.

There seems to be some quarterback controversy going on for the San Francisco 49ers. Although it’s been reported that John Lynch wants to stick with Jimmy Garoppolo, it might be in the franchise’s best interest to find his replacement. With one of the deepest quarterback classes in NFL history, the 49ers may pull the trigger on selecting a quarterback in the first round.

This is a wide-open division and any of these organizations have the chance to become the NFC West champions next year. The Seahawks need to protect Wilson more efficiently, Los Angeles has to improve their offensive line, the Cardinals have to improve their defense, and San Francisco may be searching for more consistent quarterback play to improve.

Here are four bold predictions for the NFC West this offseason.

Seattle Seahawks bold prediction – Sign Joe Thuney

It’s no secret that the relationship between Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks is on edge. However, Seattle needs to find a way to smooth things over. This franchise made the playoffs last season and are the early favorites to do so again, as long as Wilson is under center. One step to mend the relationship would be to sign Joe Thuney, one of the best offensive linemen in the league.

Playing his entire career for the New England Patriots (so far), Thuney will be entering his sixth season in the NFL. He’s a versatile tool who is capable of playing guard, or tackle. He has transitioned between both positions and was able to provide consistency.

With Seattle giving up the third-most sacks last year (48), they’re likely to improve their offensive line this offseason and once again challenge for the NFC West title.

Los Angeles Rams bold prediction – Sign Corey Linsley

After completing a trade for Matthew Stafford, there isn’t much else this Los Angeles Rams team needs to acquire. They have plenty of weapons on offense, with Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Cam Akers. Stafford should be able to proceed with his high level of play next season. Additionally, the Rams have one of the best defenses with Aaron Donald leading the way. The only area of concern for this organization is the offensive line.

With that said, the Rams should focus on acquiring one of the best linemen available in free agency. Corey Linsley has been with the Packers since 2014 and has been a consistent starter for his entire career.

Being one of the best centers in the league, Linsley would be a significant upgrade compared to what Stafford’s worked with throughout his career.

Arizona Cardinals bold prediction – Sign Yannick Ngakoue

The Arizona Cardinals’ offense last season was electric. With Kyler Murray under center and DeAndre Hopkins out wide, there isn’t much this offense can’t do. It’s unclear whether they bring Kenyon Drake back, however, this franchise is in a good place offensively. The struggles lie within the defense.

Signing Yannick Ngakoue would go a long way in improving this Cardinals defense. Ngakoue is one of the best young pass rushers in the league, as he’s stacked up 45.5 sacks throughout his five-year career. For the Cardinals to become the best team in the NFC West, they have to improve the defense.

Signing Yannick Ngakoue does just that.

San Francisco 49ers bold prediction – Draft Trey Lance

The 49ers were hit with the injury bug last year and it crippled their season. They’re hoping to stay healthy, as that seems to be the only weakness on this roster, on paper at least. With that said, Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t been the most impressive quarterback when given the opportunities. He did lead them to Super Bowl in 2019, however, the offense has been a run-first team, and Garoppolo wasn’t slinging it down the field as the top-tier quarterbacks do.

For the 49ers to reclaim the NFC West for years to come, the front office should highly consider drafting one of the elite quarterback prospects in this draft. Trey Lance is incredibly young, but possibly has the best potential to become a superstar in this league. He needs time to develop, which the 49ers can afford. Additionally, Lance is a dual-threat quarterback, which is something the entire league is searching for in quarterbacks these days.

He may not play right away, but he’s someone the 49ers can be patient with, and potentially turn into a superstar in the future.