NFC West teams look to fill needs at first-ever virtual draft


Cynthia Tapia

Much less attention was given to Arizona’s first round selection this year.

Jackson Dungan, Reporter

The first-ever, virtual NFL Draft began on April 23 and ran through April 25 from…well — Commissioner Roger Goodell’s basement.  The original plan of a massive party on the Las Vegas Strip was derailed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Heading into the draft, following the first few weeks of the free agency period, nearly every team has a role that needs filling.

The Seattle Seahawks were looking for a few key players to bring back them back into Super Bowl contention. These additions include, but are not limited to, defensive end, defensive tackle, wide receiver, and running back.

With the 27th overall pick in the first round, the Seahawks selected linebacker Jordyn Brooks, from Texas Tech University. They also selected University of Tennessee defensive end Darrell Taylor.  He could up be a crucial addition for the Seahawks defense if their star defensive end, Jadeveon Clowney, winds up not re-signing with the team.  Clowney is currently a free agent.

During the 3rd and 4th rounds, they selected guard Damien Lewis, from last year’s NCAA National Champion, Louisiana State University, and tight end Colby Parkinson, from the University of Stanford.  Parkinson will be competing for reps against several talented tight ends, like recently acquired, former Carolina Panther, Greg Olson.

Last season’s Super Bowl contending San Francisco 49ers were targeting four major positional needs heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. These include: guard, wide receiver, defensive tackle, and defensive back.

The 49ers acquired the 14th pick from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1st round as well as the 25th pick from the Minnesota Vikings and took advantage of those opportunities by taking University of South Carolina defensive tackle, Javon Kinlaw and Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.  They didn’t pick again until the fifth round, due to trades, and finished out the draft by beefing up the offensive line before adding a tight end and another wide receiver.

The Los Angeles Rams are looking to rebound after a mediocre season following a devastating Super Bowl loss a couple of seasons ago. After trading the 20th overall pick to Jacksonville for cornerback Jalen Ramsey, the Los Angeles Rams were out of the first round of the draft for the fourth straight season.

They did, however, have two second-round picks.  The Rams were searching for an offensive tackle, linebackers, wide receivers, and a running back to fill their needs.

During that second round, they selected Florida State, running back Cam Aker, and University of Florida, wide receiver Van Jefferson, with the 52nd and 57th picks. They continued to fill team needs in the third round, by selecting linebacker Terrell Lewis, from the University of Alabama.

The Arizona Cardinals are coming off yet another stagnant season and may be hoping to find answers in some new players.

The Cardinals were hunting for offensive lineman, linebackers, wide receivers, and defensive linemen to build on the young core that they currently have.

With the 8th overall pick in the first round, Arizona selected linebacker Isaiah Simmons, from the University of Clemson. The Cardinals continued gathering well-fitting players during the third and fourth rounds with the likes of offensive tackle Josh Jones, from the University of Houston and defensive tackle Leki Fotu, from the University of Utah.

Some were puzzled by Arizona’s second pick of the fourth round, when they selected another defensive tackle in Rashard Lawrence, from Louisiana State.

Many Arizona fan’s favorite Cardinal’s draft pick may have been their last, when the team selected Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin with the 222nd pick.  Benjamin rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons at ASU.