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Rob Weintraub's 2020 All-NFC West Team

Los Angeles Rams DT Aaron Donald
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

The first goal every NFL team sets is to win its division. How those eight fratricidal battles shake out usually determines team success in any given season. Yet postseason laurels are broken down by conference, if at all. That never made sense to me—even college football selects all-conference teams. Why don't the pros anoint the best each division has to offer?

Well, now they do. We finish up our All-Division teams with Left Coasters, the NFC West.

OFFENSE

QB: Russell Wilson, SEA

Wilson's second-half fade brought some doubt into the race, but Russ still finished with a small but solid margin over Kyler Murray, his only real competition for All-Div honors.

RB: Chris Carson, SEA
RB: Darrell Henderson, LAR

Carson was the top back in the league by success rate (65%). Cam Akers was the postseason bell cow in L.A. but he was the Rams' third-rated back in the regular season behind Henderson and Malcolm Brown.

WR: DK Metcalf, SEA
WR: Tyler Lockett, SEA
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, ARI
TE: George Kittle, SF

A pretty clear-cut top three wideouts, including Metcalf's top-five finish in DYAR. Kittle's injuries dropped him off last year's insane pace, enough so that Tyler Higbee of the Rams was close—but not that close.

OT: Trent Williams, SF
OT: Duane Brown, SEA
OG: David Edwards, LAR
OG: Justin Pugh, ARI
C: Ethan Pocic, SEA

An underrated season for Kelvin Beachum in Arizona (just 13 blown blocks) wasn't enough to get past the two stars for the All-Div team. Damien Lewis had a solid rookie season in Seattle but 29 blown blocks kept him off the team.

DEFENSE

ER: Leonard Floyd, LAR
ER: Kerry Hyder, SF
DL: Aaron Donald, LAR
DL: Jarran Reed, SEA

A loaded set of pass-rushers out west, with Arizona's Haason Reddick and Markus Golden firmly in the mix. Donald, of course, could be named to all four line spots; he was that destructive.

LB: Fred Warner, SF
LB: Bobby Wagner, SEA
LB: Jordan Hicks, ARI

The Dubs, Warner and Wagner, were two of the best linebackers in all of football. They are joined by Hicks, who narrowly beat out (silent) Dub K.J. Wright for the third slot.

CB: Jalen Ramsey, LAR
CB: Darious Williams, LAR
CB: Troy Hill, LAR
S: Budda Baker, ARI
S: John Johnson, LAR

A sweep for the Southland at corner, where no-brainers Williams and Ramsey were third and 12, respectively, in success rate at the position. Hill played the full season, unlike Jason Verrett, earning him the third spot. With Baker holding down one safety spot, the other came down to splash plays (Jamal Adams and his 9.5 sacks) versus consistent coverage, with Johnson winning out. If Adams had played the full season, things may have been different.

SPECIAL TEAMS

K: Jason Myers, SEA
P: Michael Dickson, SEA
RET: D.J. Reed, SEA

The Seahawks were third in special teams DVOA, so it's not surprising they dominate the All-Div specialist squad. Myers was probably the best placekicker in the league, and easily was the best in the NFC West. Similarly, Dickson dropped more punts inside the 20 than any other punter, and the Seahawks had the league's third-best punt game overall. No returners were particularly successful out west in 2020, with Reed edging out teammate David Moore and Arizona's Chase Edmonds.

Comments

10 comments, Last at 31 Mar 2021, 8:40pm

1 Decent selection.

I find it interesting how so many people are still undecided about Kyler Murray after his second year despite the fact that he was basically playing at an even level with RW who is an established Top 5 QB.  Higher ceiling as well.

I wasn't impressed with Adams, particularly because he was not good in coverage which is the whole point of being a safety.  He played more of a LB hybrid role for Seattle and had the sack numbers, but that's not what a safety is judged on.  Budda Baker is pretty much what you want at the position, excellent in every area, including sacks...

Next season, I expect Watt and Jones to occupy two of the spots on defense...

Cards will likely bring back Golden for depth.  Reddick got half his sacks against the Giants in one game, so I don't expect the Cards to fight to keep him because he's unproven.  

 

8 That doesn mean you need to lie

In reply to by DIVISION

lol.

I see you're trying to argue Baker>Jamal which is also not true. Lol dude theres a reason the Cards were 3rd and the Seahawks won the division and it's because Russ>Kyler and Jamal>Baker. Bakers had a worse passer rating in coverage each of the last 3 years homie

3 Adams is an edge rusher, not a safety or a LB hybrid

In reply to by DIVISION

Yeah, Adams gets burned in coverage. He's often out of position. But that's not terribly unusual for an edge rusher being asked to drop back into coverage.

Stats aren't always a great measure, but let's take a look.

Adams had zero interceptions, 3 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble. 59 solo tackles, 83 total, 11 for a loss. 14 QB Hits. 9.5 sacks.

Leonard Floyd was the top edge rusher in the NFC west.

In 16 games, Floyd had zero interceptions, 1 pass defensed, 1 forced fumble, 31 solo tackles, 55 total, 11 for a loss. 19 QB hits, 10.5 sacks.

I could argue that Jamal's stats are on par with Floyd, and he did it in 12 games.

5 Seattle fans...

Adams is a safety.  Seattle may use him as a blitzing rusher, but that's not really the main responsibility of the position.

Compare him to Budda Baker and get back to me.  

Leonard Floyd benefited from Donald's presence, but he's more of a complementary rusher.  He's not a Khalil Mack, Chandler Jones or JJ Watt.  Those guys demand double teams all the time.

I predict Seattle to struggle this year for several reasons, but the Wilson drama is going to hang over them all season.

 

6 Adams vs. Baker

In reply to by DIVISION

Adams: 12 Games, 0 interceptions, 3 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble. 59 solo tackles, 83 total, 11 for a loss. 14 QB Hits. 9.5 sacks

Baker: 15 Games, 2 interceptions, 6 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble. 90 solo tackles, 118 total, 7 for a loss, 3 QB hits,  2 sacks

7 Baker is a much better safety.

In reply to by Seattle-Brian

The only thing I can glean from this is that if the Cards had Baker at the LOS more, he'd have even better numbers than Adams in terms of pressures/sacks.

He dwarfs Adams in total tackles.......

What we do know is that Baker can cover people much better than Adams in free space, hence why he's rated as one of the Top 3 safeties in the NFL.

Adams isn't even close to that, no matter how Seattle uses him.

10 NFC West DL

Poona Ford, Seattle, might be a better choice than Jarran Reed.