How the 49ers Stack Up with the Rams Heading into the NFL Draft

They have a good offensive line, and they have Matthew Stafford, the best quarterback in the NFC when healthy.
Sep 17, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; The San Francisco 49ers defense forces an incomplete pass
Sep 17, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; The San Francisco 49ers defense forces an incomplete pass / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers have been the class of the NFC West for the past couple seasons. Let's see where they stack up with their division rivals one week ahead of the NFL Draft.

The Rams pose a legitimate threat to the 49ers.

They won 7 of their final 9 games last season. They went to the playoffs. They lost by one point to the Lions, who almost went to the Super Bowl. They have an excellent running back in Kyren Williams. They have two outstanding wide receivers in Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp. They have a good offensive line, and they have Matthew Stafford, the best quarterback in the NFC when healthy.

But Stafford isn't always healthy, and neither is Kupp. They haven't played a full season since 2021, when the Rams won the Super Bowl. So if those two are healthy, the Rams can beat anyone, even without Aaron Donald, who retired. Because their offense is outstanding.

But it's unlikely that Stafford and Kupp will play full seasons at this point in their careers. Stafford is 36 and Kupp will be 31 in June. They're old. And that's why the Rams signed Jimmy Garoppolo to be Stafford's backup this year. They know they're going to need a backup quarterback who has starting experience if/when Stafford goes down.

Garoppolo might be able to win a few games for the Rams, but he can't beat the 49ers.

So while the Rams are dangerous on paper, it seems unlikely they'll stay healthy enough to win the division.


Published
Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN