2010 NFC West Preview: 49ers Golden Return

Casey Crail@@crvilsCorrespondent IApril 26, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 14:  Members of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park on December 14, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Many factors have gone into next season's potential outcome of the NFC West. It is hard to say that the 49ers are not the favorites to win the division. Coming off another succesful draft, and young players hopefully proegressing it looks like the first playoff appearance since the T.O.-Garcia era.

Arizona Cardinals: The Kurt Warner retirement, and loss of Rolle and Dansby won't be a huge factor after bringing in Kerry Rhodes and Joey Porter. The recieving core is still going to be great without Boldin because Breaston and Doucet should step in nicely at number 2 and 3 spots. The Cardinals will most likely not be the same team as the last couple of years, but they will be competitors for the NFC West and could very will win again.

St. Louis Rams: The Rams really don't have much chance to win the division in 2010. They will improve their record, but how hard could that really be? I am not sure about Bradford personally. I like the Mardy Gilyard pick as a play-making threat for Bradford. Bradford's success could really rely on how the young Receiving core develops. I think S-Jax will have his normal success rushing this year, and he is still the face of the offense. The Rams have tons of potential, but 2010 is too early to start competing for the NFC West Championship.

San Francisco 49ers: The 2010 Draft was a bug success for San-Fran. In Round 1&2 they addressed their two biggest needs: Offensive Line and Defensive Backfield. Michael Crabtree will play a full season, and should have a great year after an entire offseason with Alex Smith. Vernon Davis will be a great contribution blocking and receiving, while Frank Gore does his thing. They also addressed another need in kick returning in an offseason trade for 2007 first round pick, Ted Ginn Jr. With a relatively easy schedule with some hard games thrown in, but the 49ers should find success and a winning season after coming off an 8-8 season.

Seattle Seahawks: The Pete Carrol era began with a bang. The Draft was excellent for the 'Hawks, but their picks will most likely need some time to develop into the big time stars they could become. The trades for Lendale White and Leon Washington were good, but are these two mediocre backs really enough? I scratched my head on the trade for Clipboard Jesus from San Diego, but he does have pro potential. Pete Carroll has not had a succesful career as a pro coach, but has shown us he can at least draft well. The team will be good in years to come if there drafted players turn out like they do on paper, and if Carroll can continue to draft well.

The division that has been the "scrub-division" the last few years appears to be making a comeback, and has the potential to have power house teams in years to come.