The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Which NFC West Offseason Move Will Have the Biggest Impact?

If Game of Thrones didn't feel like a relic of a show from a previous lifetime and/or end as badly as any great show has ever ended, I would be tempted to make a Game of Thrones reference for the 2020 NFC West.

But since both of those are true, Ill just put it this way regarding the NFC West: That shit is crazy.

All four teams are primed for heavyweight fights. All four teams believe they have good reason to challenge for divisional supremacy. And all four teams have made massive offseason moves.

How will it all play out?*

*(ASSUMING WE HAVE A SEASON, yes I know we could spend all day speculating on the viability of an NFL season happening during a global pandemic but for the sake of not continuing to drive ourselves insane, I'll be assuming the season does happen.)

To try and figure out how the ladder of chaos will or won't favor the Cardinals, lets rank the five biggest offseason moves in just the NFC West.

Here's my list:

5.49ers Acquire Trent Williams

  • Based on resume alone, he could be #1. Williams is a mountain of a man and a seven time Pro Bowl tackle in a league desperate for franchise tackles. But he barely registers in this Top 5 because he's not an enormous upgrade, he's simply replacing another Hall of Famer in Joe Staley.

4.49ers Trade DeForest Buckner

  • The 49ers defense was dominant for most of the 2019 season and much of that was due to a formidable defensive line. The 49ers voluntarily tinkered with that formula by pre-emptively trading Buckner to the Colts. While they used the pick on yet another defensive lineman in Javon Kinlaw, the team will be rolling the dice that this year's group can replicate the production and formidability of last year's.

3.Los Angeles Rams hire new coordinators

  • This is the biggest boom or bust on the list. Sean McVay's decision to jettison Wade Phillips for the unproven Brandon Staley and at the same time add Kevin O'Connell to refresh his offense could pay huge dividends or set the franchise back even further. Staley was the DC for John Carroll University as recently as 2016 and now will try and spruce up a top heavy defense with limited depth. O'Connell will try to keep McVay from falling further behind Kyle Shanahan and even Kliff Kingsbury in the NFC West Boy Offensive Genius rankings. If either fails, the Rams could quickly be in the basement of a division they were once primed to dominate.

2.Arizona Cardinals Acquire DeAndre Hopkins

  • The Cardinals stunned the football world, hell the entire planet, when they landed Hopkins for the price of David Johnson and a second round pick. Hopkins adds a threat to a Cardinals offense that should not only help Kyler Murray in Year 2 but also continue to modernize an offense that was wholly antiquated as recently as 2018.

1.Seattle Seahawks Acquire Jamal Adams

  • Now the Seahawks gave up a TON to land Adams but the biggest price should come with the biggest impact. Without Adams, Seattle's 27th ranked pass defense in 2019 didn't have a whole lot of hope of improving enough to be a Super Bowl favorite in 2020. That all changes. Adams is a modern, hybrid DB that can help Seattle against Kyler Murray, Sean McVay and whatever else the West throws at them. He cost a massive amount of draft capital and he'll eventually cost a massive contract but for now, he opens the Seahawks title window wide open.

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