As with every year during the “dead period” in the National Football League, fans, writers, and pundits are all forced to kill time between the end of minicamps and the start of official training camp with bold predictions about the upcoming season. While some resort to stat projections and predictions for final records, we at the FanSided Network banded together to compose a comprehensive list of 2014 All-Division rosters. After the votes were cast and some heated debate “broke the ties,” the editors for 12th Man Rising, Niner Noise, and Raising Zona were able to come to a majority agreement on our final list for the All-NFC West squad.
In our first unveiling, we listed our divisions starting offensive backfield, comprised of two newly-crowned Super Bowl champions; Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. Now, we will unveil the rest of the offensive skill positions (i.e. the wide receivers and tight ends). Given the myriad of talent at wide receiver in the NFC West, and the general lack of skill at the tight end spot, we opted for a three receiver, one tight end roster. With that in mind, here are our selections.
Wide Receivers: Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), Michael Crabtree (San Francisco 49ers), and Percy Harvin (Seattle Seahawks)
Aside from Larry Fitzgerald, the votes among the NFC West editors were somewhat mixed when it came to formulating our starting roster. Aside from Michael Crabtree and Percy Harvin, names like Malcolm Floyd, Stevie Johnson, and Anquan Boldin, and even Tavon Austin got some consideration.
The biggest obstacle to overcome was health. Percy Harvin, for example, has not played more than nine regular season games since 2011 when he was still sporting the purple, horn-laden helmet in Minnesota. Crabtree has also struggled to stay healthy, missing the majority of last season with a torn Achilles’. In the end, assuming all players are healthy, the trio of Fitzgerald, Crabtree, and Harvin are likely as formidable as any All-Division receiver corps in the NFL.
As for the St. Louis Rams, who have still yet to make their mark on the All-NFC West squad, there are certainly a handful of players that might challenge for a spot on the list next year with an impressive showing in 2014. Chris Givens, anyone?
Tight End: Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Much like quarterback and running back, Vernon Davis was the clear-cut favorite for the starting role at tight end. While Jared Cook might have the potential to steal the crown from Davis, in terms of pass catching, there are few, if any, in the NFL that provide the lethal combination of receiving and blocking skills of the San Francisco star. To highlight that, Davis ranked Top 5 or Top 10 in nearly every significant category for a tight end last season, including 6th in receiving yards and 2nd in touchdowns, as well as grading out as the 5th-best run blocker at this position, according to Pro Football Focus.
Next, we’ll shift to the trenches of the All-NFC West roster, taking a look at the best offensive linemen within the division. Have any guesses to who might make the cut? Let us know in the comment section!