2021 NFL Draft: NFC West Roundup from rounds 2 and 3

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Samantha Sunseri
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The Seattle Seahawks had just one pick on the second day of the 2021 NFL draft, selecting WR D’Wayne Eskridge at no. 56 overall, but the rest of the division stayed busy throughout rounds two and three. Here’s a quick look at the latest non-Seahawk additions to the NFC West:

San Francisco 49ers

Round 2, Pick 48: G Aaron Banks, Notre Dame

Round 3, Pick 88: RB Trey Sermon, Ohio State

Round 3, Pick 102: CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan

The 49ers traded down in the second round and filled a need at guard with the massive Aaron Banks (6-foot-6, 330 pounds), then traded both of their fourth-round picks to the Los Angeles Rams in order to select running back Trey Sermon, who famously rushed for 331 yards in the 2020 Big 10 Championship game.

With their compensatory third-round pick, the 49ers acquired ball-hawk cornerback and return specialist Ambry Thomas, who should immediately compete for starting special-teams duties and develop behind starting corners Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley.

Los Angeles Rams

Round 2, Pick 57: WR Tutu Atwell, Louisville

Round 3, Pick 103: LB Ernest Jones, South Carolina

The Rams, who lacked a pick in round one, opted to draft a speedster in Louisville’s Tutu Atwell to give new signal-caller Matthew Stafford another downfield threat. Atwell, who coach Sean McVay described as “a big-time gift” in spite of his 5-foot-9, 155-pound frame, was responsible for 21 touchdowns in three collegiate seasons, including seven in the shortened 2020 campaign.

Los Angeles’ next pick, a compensatory selection in the third round, saw them addressing their defense with the ultra-physical Ernest Jones. The former Gamecock led his team in tackles for two straight seasons, averaging 9.6 tackles per game in 2020, which should help maintain the fearsome reputation of a Rams defense that was ultimately ravaged by departures during the offseason.

Arizona Cardinals

Round 2, Pick 49: WR Rondale Moore, Purdue

With their only pick of the night, the Cardinals acquired one of the draft’s most talented receivers in the 5-foot-7, 181-pound Moore. Despite his small stature, Moore flirted with first-round projections entering the 2020 season before opting out (then opting back in) but was unable to reach his production from his fantastic freshman-year campaign that earned him the Paul Hornung Award for the nation’s most versatile player.

Nevertheless, his Pro Day measurables, which included a 4.29-second 40-yard dash, convinced the Cardinals that he has the potential to become a star on their roster, particularly with the anticipated retirement of longtime Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

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