NFL Preview 2019: Highlighting each NFC West team's most impactful rookie

Brian Witt

It's a crucial season for the NFC West.

The 49ers, in year three of the Kyle Shanahan-John Lynch era, need to take a step forward, or seats will get hot.

The Rams, after losing in the Super Bowl, need to capitalize on their championship window while it's still open.

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The Seahawks, coming off a surprising 10-6 campaign, need to avoid the dropoff that many expected was coming last year.

And the Cardinals ... well, the Cardinals need to not be historically bad.

Aiding each of the four NFC West teams in their crucial seasons is a rookie that they're counting on making a major impact in their first year in the NFL.

Here's a closer look at those promising young players:

San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa

Once again, the 49ers used their first-round draft pick on a defensive lineman, but Bosa might be the best of them all.

He's got the talent, the attitude and the pedigree to become one of the most dominant pass rushers in the game.

Bosa is expected to start at defensive end from Day 1, and should form a devastating inside-outside pass-rushing tandem with Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.

[RELATED: Bosa appears ready for Week 1 after posing workout photos]

If Bosa lives up to expectations, the 49ers could have one of the best defensive lines in all of the NFL.

Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray

Assuming he stays healthy, Murray likely will be the most impactful of all the rookies in the NFL, due mainly to his position.

The No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft will take over behind center for the Cardinals, after Arizona shipped last year's rookie starter -- Josh Rosen -- to Miami.

Murray won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma after showcasing his ability to dominate the game with both his arms and his legs. His athleticism is off the charts, but in order for him to be successful, Arizona's offensive line will need to do a much better job after allowing 52 sacks and 109 quarterback hits last season.

Seattle Seahawks: DK Metcalf

If a computer were to generate a prototype to play wide receiver in the NFL, it would look a lot like Metcalf.

With blazing straight-line speed and muscles upon muscles, Metcalf is a sight to see, when he isn't a blur. He was the talk of the NFL Combine after posting a 4.33-second 40-yard dash and 40.5-inch vertical at 6-foot-3 and 228 pounds.

Metcalf's strengths will be utilized in Seattle's play-action attack, as quarterback Russell Wilson now has both he and fellow speedster Tyler Lockett to find with the deep ball.

Physically, at least, Metcalf is already ready to dominate as a rookie.

Los Angeles Rams: Darrell Henderson

From top to bottom, the Rams might have the best roster in the league, so it's not going to be easy for any rookie to get significant playing time. Henderson, though, might be a different case.

The running back averaged 8.2 yards per carry over his three-year college career at Memphis, and caught 63 passes for 758 yards.

Given that Los Angeles seems inclined to scale back Todd Gurley's workload, Henderson could pick up the resulting slack as a dynamic change-of-pace back.

If Gurley were to miss any extended time, Henderson would be a main beneficiary, and you can bet head coach Sean McVay has been salivating coming up with ways to deploy him.

NFL Preview 2019: Highlighting each NFC West team's most impactful rookie originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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