NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Rams, 49ers, Sam

General manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll have worked five drafts together with the Seahawks, and as The News Tribune’s Todd Dybas writes, the duo has developed a penchant for taking lesser-known players.

Examples of this include Middle Tennessee State defensive tackle Jimmy Staten, Marshall offensive tackle Garrett Scott and Arkansas fullback Kiero Small, none of whom received much notoriety in the days leading up to the draft.

Schneider talked about the ambitious nature of his team’s roster and a mentality his players must possess: “There’s so much competitiveness. These guys are on edge. They’re confident, so you have to have a certain mentality to be able to battle. You’ve got to bring it right away. Right when you walk in the door, you’ve got to bring it.”

More notes from the division of the reigning Super Bowl champions below…

  • The unpredictably consistent Seahawks need five or six of the nine draft picks to hit for Schneider and Carroll to retain the title of draft geniuses, penned Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times.
  • A roundup of the Rams‘ 11 draft picks by Joe Lyons of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With two first-round picks, St. Louis solidified the trenches, going with Auburn tackle Greg Robinson No. 2 overall and Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald at No. 13.
  • At No. 249, the Rams made one of the more memorable picks in the draft, selecting Missouri DE/OLB Michael Sam, who will become the first openly gay player to play in the NFL. As Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch writes, now Sam needs to prove that he can also play football in addition to breaking barriers.
  • USA TODAY Sports’ Tom Pelissero named the Rams as one of five teams that should expect instant impact from its rookies in 2014.
  • 49ers general manager Trent Baalke was happy for Sam, but wished that the Missouri rusher landed outside the NFC West and thus avoiding facing him twice a year, Matt Maiocco of writes.
  • South Florida outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, standing an impressive 6-foot-6 and 244 pounds, lauds himself as a first-round talent with mistakes in his past. He slipped to the 49ers in the fifth round because of those mistakes, and head coach John Harbaugh says Lunch needs direction, according to Eric Branch of
  • Despite the availability of SEC quarterbacks Zach Mettenberger (LSU), Aaron Murray (Georgia) and A.J. McCarron, the Cardinals took a developmental project instead, Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, writes Kent Somers of
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