Examining Seahawks rookies who'll be instant starters

Plenty of fresh blood will be flourishing a few short months from now when another NFL regular season emerges front and center on the national sports scene.

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OLT Russell Okung / Seahawks (1st round / Oklahoma State; 6th overall; OL grade: C-plus)

Skinny: Immediately anointed the replacement for retired nine-time Pro Bowler Walter Jones, Okung has rare size, outstanding balance, long arms and a 24/7 commitment to football that immediately impressed new Seahawks O-line coach/zone-blocking guru Alex Gibbs. Okung gets valuable guidance on the field from veteran newcomer Ben Hamilton at left guard.

FS Earl Thomas / Seahawks (1st round / Texas; 14th overall; DB grade: C)

WR Golden Tate / Seahawks (2nd round / Notre Dame; 60th overall; REC grade: C-plus)

Skinny: Tate is the front-runner to start at split end and complement first-rate possession receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Tate will compete with ninth-year veteran Deion Branch, second-year player Deon Butler and fourth-year vet and former first-round pick Mike Williams, among others. Tate provides an excellent run-after-catch dimension.