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NFL Draft

Drae Harris’ Bold Prediction About NFC West

  • The Draft Network
  • May 15, 2021
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The NFC West has long been considered the most competitive division in the NFL. The NFL schedules were recently released and I thought I’d add some spice to the release with a bold prediction: three teams in the NFC West have at least 10 wins.

Let’s start with the Los Angeles Rams. They are effectively in win-now mode with the trade of Jared Goff for Matthew Stafford.  They also added DeSean Jackson and drafted Tutu Atwell to form what could be the most explosive offense in the division—one that includes Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Cam Akers, etc. They’ll need every bit of offensive firepower, as they are in the bottom tier in the NFL in terms of desired schedule difficulty. Losing defensive coordinator Brandon Staley could prove to be costly, but nonetheless, I believe they figure it out and secure a 10-plus win season in a critical year for the Sean McVay/Les Snead tenure. Prediction: 11 wins

The San Francisco 49ers drafted their QB of the future in Trey Lance, while effectively putting Jimmy Garoppolo on notice that his days are numbered. As a result, I believe they get the best version of Garoppolo in what will prove to be a critical year for his career. Kyle Shanahan can also develop a package for Lance to incorporate him into the offense slowly, thus having one of the most versatile offenses in the division. Furthermore, they are tied for 19th with regards to strength of schedule with an opponent combined win percentage in 2020 of .489. Replacing Robert Saleh will be critical for this team. However, with the strength of schedule and new additions, I believe they get to 10 wins on the season, as well. Prediction: 10 wins

The Seattle Seahawks have always enjoyed the luxury of having the best quarterback in the division. However, with the arrival of Stafford in Los Angeles, this may be a notion of the past. Seattle seemingly has to answer the offensive line question every year, and this year is no different. They have a strength of schedule ranking that is tied for 11th, with an opponent combined win percentage in 2020 at .511. However, it seems as if Seattle figures it out every year and contends for the division title. I believe they’ll do the same in 2021 and secure another 10-win season. Prediction 10 wins

The Arizona Cardinals have added some offensive firepower this offseason. However, I still have significant concerns about this team. Kliff Kingsbury alone cost them at least three wins in 2020 with his in-game decisions. The Cardinals have yet to prove they can run the football with enough effectiveness to have a balanced offense in general or to close out games specifically. The defensive philosophy under the leadership of Vance Joseph has always been a question. They do have a strength of schedule rating that is tied for 13th (.507)  in the league based on opponent win percentage in 2020. Even though Kyler Murray is a rising star, it’s not enough to get Arizona to the playoffs, effectively ending the tenure of Kingsbury and possibly general manager Steve Keim. Prediction: 7 wins

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