Dave Damashek recently wrote an article on nfl.com in which he put together an all-star team for each division and chose which division was the best and would win. Dameshek had the once laughed upon NFC West as the best, but there were some players on his all-star team that I disagreed with. Here is who I would have on my NFC West all-star team.
QB: Russell Wilson
RB: Marshawn Lynch, Frank Gore
WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin
TE: Jared Cook, Vernon Davis
OT: Jake Long, Joe Staley
OG: Carpenter, Iupati
C: Max Unger
Part of me really wants to go with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback as he is such a playmaker and in terms of pocket passer and being able to make all the throws, Sam Bradford is my guy, however it’s hard to deny what Russell Wilson did last season. Wilson came into training camp last year with nobody expecting him to start and he ended up beating the favorite Matt Flynn in training camp and lead the Seahawks to the divisional round of the playoffs, if his defense could have stopped Matt Ryan and the Falcon on the final drive, the Seahawks very well could have been the team representing the NFC in the playoffs, and had he not been overshadowed by Luck and Griffin III, Wilson could have been the rookie of the year. Wilson was the most accurate passer in the division and had the highest passer rating within the division. He can also be a threat running the ball which is special, however he doesn’t rely on his legs. At the end of the day I have to go with Wilson,
Can you imagine the of Lynch and Gore on your team. It would be quite the combo. I would put Lynch as my every down back, because when he is in beast mode he cant be stopped. Gore would make a solid third down back that has the ability to get the short yardage. It looked like Lynch’s career was over when he left Buffalo to go to Seattle, but little did we know he was just getting started. Lynch has rushed for over 1,200 yards the past two season as well as scoring more than 10 touchdowns in each of those seasons and had 4.2 yards per carry in 2011 and 5.0 yards per carry last season. Gore has also rushed for over 1,200 yards in each of the past two seasons and has scored eight touchdowns in each season. Gore has been a solid running back since he joined the league back in 2005. Gore just turned 30 in May, but as of now he shows no signs of slowing down as he rushed for a respectable 4.7 yards per carry last season.
At wide receiver Fitzgerald is an obvious choice here as even with Ryan Lindley taking snaps at quarterback Fitzgerald had almost 800 yards receiving which was still more than any Rams player since the departure of Torry Holt. Fitzgerald is a guy like Steven Jackson who you just have to feel bad that such a great player is playing on such a bad team. The Cardinals did get Carson Palmer this offseason who will hopefully be able to allow Fitzgerald to shine. Michael Crabtree is another obvious choice, he is a young player that continues to get better. Crabtree had his first 1,000 yard season last year and really it’s a shame he got hurt because it looked like he was going to make the jump into the elite group of players. In the slot I have to go with Percy Harvin. I would go Tavon Austin, but he has yet to play a down in the NFL and Harvin is the best slot receiver in the division and one of the best in the league when healthy.
Vernon Davis is without a doubt one of the best tight ends in the NFL and Jared Cook might be on his way in that conversation as well in St. Louis. Both players are physical monsters that create mismatches, really nobody can cover them. Davis did have a down year last season as he only had 548 yards and as for Cook, he had Jake Locker throwing him the ball. Both players at the best would be a problem for even the best defense.
On the offensive line it’s hard to dismiss what Staley and Long have done throughout their careers, both players are pro bowl players and are considered two of the league’s best. Iupati has been a solid player for the 49ers and is a punishing blocker. Carpenter has a very high ceiling and could be one of the league’s best very soon. As for Ungur, he is one of the league’s best centers right now. The NFC West holds some of the best big men in the game and that is proven in the success that the division has had. Without the guys up front, nothing is possible even with the best play makers.
Quarterback: Colin Kaepernick
Running back: Marshawn Lynch
Wide receivers: Larry Fitzgerald, Percy Harvin, Michael Crabtree
Tight end: Vernon Davis
Offensive tackles: Joe Staley, Russell Okung
Guards: Mike Iupati, James Carpenter
Center: Max Unger
Dameshek and I only disagreed in a few places, but really I can see where he is coming from in the few differences that we do have in our lists. The main points that I took from the article is, 1) the NFC West is no longer being overlooked and is seen as the best division in football. 2) The Rams are still as underrated as ever as there is only one Ram on Dameshek’s list which almost anybody could guess, and he will come up on the defense part of this series. Make sure to let us know who you would have on your NFC West all-star team and let us know what you think of ours in the comment section below.