NFC West Home to Best NFL Rosters

The Arizona Cardinals are in arguably one of the toughest divisions in football.
Jan 7, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Chase Young (92) rushes the passer against Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Alaric Jackson (77) during the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2024; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers defensive end Chase Young (92) rushes the passer against Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Alaric Jackson (77) during the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

There's no hiding how talented the NFC West is heading into the 2024 season.

The San Francisco 49ers nearly were Super Bowl champions just a few months ago. The Los Angeles Rams lost Aaron Donald but were still a playoff team in 2023 whereas the Seattle Seahawks narrowly missed postseason action after trying the seventh-seeded Green Bay Packers but losing on strength of victory tie-breakers.

The Arizona Cardinals bolstered holes on both sides of the ball to make strides off their four-win total from 2023 as well.

You can make arguments for each team making a push for the NFC West crown, something that can't exactly be said for other divisions around the league.

The 33rd Team recently ranked the top ten NFL rosters, and the NFC West landed two teams in the top ten, which included the No. 1 spot:

1. San Francisco 49ers

"It's not an accident the San Francisco 49ers finished the 2023 season second in team DVOA, third in offensive and defensive scoring, and had the second-best point differential, considering the strength of their schedule," wrote Ian Valentino

"The 49ers are incredibly well coached, but their staff isn't solely responsible for producing eight Pro Bowlers and four first-team All-Pro members. Their playmaking on both sides of the ball consistently produces a regular-season juggernaut.

"Losing Arik Armstead this offseason hurts their defensive front, but getting star safety Talanoa Hufanga back healthy will more than offset Armstead's departure. Then, factor in rookie additions Ricky Pearsall, Dominick Puni, Renardo Green, and Malik Mustapha, and the 49ers simply restocked their roster with guys who fit their schemes and have great athletic makeups. Puni should win either the right guard or right tackle spot early in his career.

"The biggest question mark about the roster is whether the star-receiving duo of Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel will make it through the season. Aiyuk is angling for a long-term deal, and Samuel's bloated cap number is partially in the way. Losing Aiyuk might be enough for the 49ers to slide down this list because the competition is that fierce."

10. Los Angeles Rams

"Sure, Aaron Donald retired, but the Rams finished 10-7 after ripping off seven wins in their final eight regular-season games last year. This young defense began to complement its explosive offense, setting the formula for how they'll be more competitive in 2024," wrote Valentino.

"Getting Matthew Stafford another big-time playmaker in Puka Nacua last year, and then rebuilding the offensive line with two big free agents this year, is massive. The offense no longer has a clear weakness, as Kyren Williams established himself as a quality starter, and the Rams addressed the depth of every position through free agency or the draft.

"Sean McVay already had the eighth-best scoring offense, and they could push into the top five this fall.

"The Rams' defense might be more interesting for football nerds. Adding the Florida State rookie duo of Jared Verse and Braden Fiske helps a pass rush that was already impactful with Kobie Turner and Byron Young. Defensive coordinator Chris Shula has more young legs to work with and create pressure."

While Seattle and Arizona likely won't fight their way into this top ten list, there's certainly room for them to win games this coming season.

All in all, top to bottom, the NFC West should be an entertaining division to watch.


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Donnie Druin

DONNIE DRUIN

Donnie Druin is the Publisher for All Cardinals and Inside The Suns. Donnie moved to Arizona in 2012 and has been with Fan Nation since 2018. In college he won "Best Sports Column" in the state of Arizona for his section and has previously provided coverage for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin for more news, updates, analysis and more!