Which Rookies Could Start Right Away for the Seattle Seahawks?

Sigmund BloomNFL Draft Lead WriterJune 20, 2012

RENTON, WA - MAY 11:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during minicamp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on May 11, 2012 in Renton, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The only thing we really know about drafts in the Carroll/Schneider era of the Seattle Seahawks is that we can never even be reasonably sure what the team will do in the draft. That willingness to be unconventional and true to their own talent evaluation regardless of what the rest of the league thinks can carry over into personnel decisions when setting the starting lineup. Which rookies could start for this unpredictable team when it opens the season at Arizona?

 

First-round defensive end Bruce Irvin

Using a strict definition of the word "starter," Irvin is highly unlikely to be one. It would take a Chris Clemons holdout into the season for that to happen. In the new age of the NFL, where defenses don't have a true base set and depend heavily on sub-packages in passing situations, Irvin is a starter. While he is not a true first-teamer that will take the field for the first defensive snap, Irvin will "start" for the nickel defense, replacing Red Bryant, who is the superior defender against the run. 

 

Second-round linebacker Bobby Wagner

The Seahawks drafted Wagner with every intention of giving him a chance to start at middle linebacker. They also signed Barrett Ruud, who has a ton of experience with defensive coordinator Gus Bradley from their time together in Tampa Bay. Ruud still hasn't taken the field because he's recovering from groin, knee and shoulder injuries, so Wagner has already had extensive action with the first team defense.

ESPN's Mike Sando reported that Wagner was "loaded up" with play calls during the recent mini camp. Strong side linebacker KJ Wright, who was expected to make the play calls this year, said he thinks Wagner will make the calls. Everything is pointing to this job being Wagner's to lose.

 

Third-round quarterback Russell Wilson

It's a long shot, but maybe not as long as we think. Carroll proclaimed Wilson "in the competition" after the team's rookie minicamp in May. Sando reported that Wilson got "extensive reps" with the first-team on the last day of the whole team minicamp last week.

According to Sando, Wilson was "in command" and "not bashful" about telling his teammates where to line up. Sando even said Wilson projected leadership in his interviews. This one could be as much about Tarvaris Jackson and Matt Flynn's inability to distinguish themselves as Wilson's excellent beginning to his Seahawks career.