Keeping an eye on the competition: NFC West

Keeping an eye on the competition: NFC West
April 27, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Jeff Fisher and the Rams went 4-1-1 within the division last year, while Pete Carroll and the Seahawks went 3-3. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

SANTA CLARA -- Meanwhile, here's a look what's happening in the draft around the NFC West:

The Cardinals added guard Jonathan Cooper with the seventh overall pick to give quarterback Carson Palmer some protection. Arizona took a gamble with the third-round selection of Tyrann Mathieu. The Cardinals plan to play the "Honey Badger" at free safety.

First round: Guard Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina)
Second round: Linebacker Kevin Minter (LSU)
Third round: Cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (LSU)
Fourth round: Defensive end Alex Okafor (Texas)
Fourth round: Guard Earl Watford (James Madison)
Fifth round: Running back Stepfan Taylor (Stanford)
Sixth round: Wide receiver Ryan Swope (Texas A&M)
Sixth round: Running back Andre Ellington (Clemson)
Seventh round: Tight end D.C. Jefferson (Rutgers)

The Seahawks took gamble on injury-prone running back Christine Michael, who sustained a cracked tibia in 2010 and a torn ACL in 2011. Last season, he rushed for just 417 yards in his final season at Texas A&M. Seattle took powerful defensive tackle Jesse Williams in the fifth round, and came back with a selection of 6-foot-2 cornerback Tharold Simon a little later.

Second round: Running back Christine Michael (Texas A&M)
Third round: Defensive tackle Jordan Hill (Penn State)
Fourth round: Wide receiver Chris Harper (Kansas State)
Fifth round: Defensive tackle Jesse Williams (Alabama)
Fifth round: Cornerback Tharold Simon (LSU)
Fifth round: Tight end Luke Willson (Rice)
Sixth round: Running back Spencer Ware (LSU)
Seventh round: Guard Ryan Seymour (Vanderbilt)
Seventh round: Defensive end Ty Powell (Harding)
Seventh round: Defensive tackle Jared Smith (New Hampshire)
Seventh round: Offensive tackle Michael Bowie (Northeastern State)

Jeff Fisher's team traded up to get explosive slot receiver/return specialist Tavon Austin with the No. 8 overall pick. Inside linebacker Alec Ogletree and safety T.J. McDonald could be good fits for a good, young defense. McDonald is the son of former 49ers Pro Bowl safety Tim McDonald, a member of the organization's 1994 Super Bowl champion.

First round: Wide receiver Tavon Austin (West Virginia)
First round: Linebacker Alec Ogletree (Georgia)
Third round: Safety T.J. McDonald (USC)
Third round: Wide receiver Stedman Bailey (West Virginia)
Fourth round: Guard Barrett Jones (Alabama)
Fifth round: Cornerback Brandon McGee (Miami)
Fifth round: Running back Zac Stacy (Vanderbilt)

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