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Know Your Enemy: St. Louis Rams, 2014 NFL Draft Round 1
The NFC West was the strongest division in football a season ago, posting the best combined record (44-22) across the NFL's eight divisions. The division features the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks, last year's NFC runner-up San Francisco 49ers, an Arizona Cardinals team coming off a 10-win season, and a St. Louis Rams squad stocked with quality picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.
So with this year's draft finally underway, we think it's pretty important to keep tabs on some of the Seahawks' closest rivals.
Here's a look at what the Rams did on day one of the League's annual event:
The Pick: T Greg Robinson, Round 1, No. 2 Overall
Who He Is: A 6-foot-5, 332-pound offensive tackle out of Auburn University.
What He's Done: Redshirted the 2011 season for the Tigers before starting 11-of-12 games played at left tackle in 2012. Started all 14 games at left tackle his senior season, anchoring the offensive line for the national champion runner-up.
What It Means: The pick shows the Rams are committed to quarterback Sam Bradford, the former offensive rookie of the year chosen with the No. 1 overall pick back in 2010. There was speculation the club could target a quarterback early in this year's draft, but adding Robinson gives the Rams improved protection on the left side of the line, which Bradford will surely welcome coming off an injury to his ACL. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Robinson is expected to play at left guard and eventually move to left tackle one day.
Seahawks GM John Schneider's Take: "They got a total road grader at tackle. They did a great job."
The Pick: DT Aaron Donald, Round 1, No. 13 Overall
Who He Is: The first defensive tackle off the board in 2014, a 6-foot-1, 288-pound product out of Pittsburgh.
What He's Done: Was the NCAA leader in tackles for loss (28.5) while tallying 11.0 sacks, three passes defensed, and four forced fumbles in 13 starts for Pittsburgh last year.
What It Means: Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told NFL Media personality Mike Silver before the start of tonight's draft that the team's second pick in the first round was "one we're going to have our fun with." Well, how's this for "fun" - an already great defensive line got even greater. Defensive tackle Michael Brockers and defensive ends Chris Long and Robert Quinn have given the Seahawks' offensive line fits in recent years - the group sacked quarterback Russell Wilson 11 times in two games last year. The pick could influence the Seahawks to target some help along the offensive line earlier in this year's draft than they may have originally hoped.
Seahawks GM John Schneider's Take: "If you look at St. Louis, their nickel package now is going to be ridiculous."
What's Next: As it stands, the Rams hold two picks on the draft's second day - one in the second round (No. 44 overall) and one in the third round (No. 75 overall).