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 Cardinals did on day one of the League's annual event, when they traded the No. 20 overall pick to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for the No. 27 overall pick and the Saints' third-round pick - No.91 overall.
The Pick: SS Deone Bucannon, Round 1, No. 27 Overall
Who He Is: The first player drafted in the first-round out of Washington State University since cornerback Marcus Trufant was drafted by the Seahawks with the No. 11 overall pick in 2003.
What He's Done: Hard-hitting defensive captain measuring at 6-foot-1 and 216 pounds who led the Pac-12 in tackles (114) and tied the conference lead in interceptions (6) in 13 starts for the Cougs in 2013.
What It Means: The Cardinals add an extremely physical presence to their already talented secondary that features defensive backs Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, and Tyrann Mathieu. Bucannon brings needed depth to the safety position for the Cardinals and his punishing playstyle will make receivers think twice about working the middle of the field, much like the Seahawks'
Seahawks GM John Schneider's Take: "He's a great kid. He's really, really tough. Very aggressive, great range. I wish they would have taken a punter."
What's Next: As it stands, the Cardinals hold two picks on the draft's second day - one in the second round (No. 52 overall) and one in the third round (No. 84 overall).