1. Arizona Cardinals
This will be their best chance to run the table in the NFC. Their depth is almost unmatched.
2. Seattle Seahawks
They are starting to become a pass first team, but then again who isn’t these days?
3. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are back in LA and no one will seem to notice while they play at the Coliseum.
4. San Francisco 49ers
It will be interesting to see if the front office is more patient with Chip Kelly than they were with Jim Harbaugh or Jim Tomsula.
Head Coach: Bruce Arians
Key Position: Pass Rush
With their aggressiveness in blitz packages it’s amazing that the Cardinals didn’t finish in the top ten for sacks. They finished tied at 20th with 36, but they expect to get 40+ with that scheme. Enter Chandler Jones who is expected to get at least 10 sacks and maybe open things up for DE Calais Campbell to get more one on one opportunities.
Key Acquisitions: S Tyvon Branch (Kansas City Chiefs), LB Chandler Jones (New England Patriots), G Evan Mathis (Denver Broncos)
Key Rookies: DT Robert Nkemdiche, CB Brandon Williams, C Evan Boehm
Head Coach: Pete Carroll
Key Position: Running Back
Thomas Rawls is the heir apparent to the retired Marshawn Lynch. He would have easily surpassed 1,000 yards rushing had it not been for an ankle injury that ended his season. There are plenty of other running backs that will get chances to touch the ball. However, Rawls will be the workhorse.
Key Acquisitions: T Bradley Sowell (Arizona Cardinals), T J’Marcus Webb (Oakland Raiders)
Key Rookies: G/T Germain Ifedi, DT Jarran Reed, RB C.J. Prosise, RB Alex Collins
Head Coach: Jeff Fisher
Key Position: Quarterback
The number one overall pick will get a chance to play this season. You don’t draft a quarterback and not have him play at some point in your return season to Los Angeles. Jared Goff has shown plenty of flashes, but too many mistakes have the Rams settling on Case Keenum who was respectable for them last season.
Key Acquisitions: S Coty Sensabaugh (Tennessee Titans)
Key Rookies: QB Jared Goff, WR Pharoh Cooper
Head Coach: Chip Kelly (Philadelphia Eagles)
Key Position: Everything
This will be a very interesting first year and whether the current cast of characters will last into next year under Chip Kelly. There isn’t much to look at on offense, but there are some encouraging signs on the offensive line which was a disaster last year. The defense has plenty to work with on the front seven, but the secondary still has some holes at cornerback.
Key Acquisitions: G Zane Beadles (Jacksonville Jaguars), WR Jeremy Kerley (Detroit Lions)
Key Rookies: DE DeForest Buckner, G Joshua Garnett, CB Will Redmond