Sporting News: 10 rookies primed to make an instant impact
Jason Smith, T, St. Louis Rams
Whether he replaces Orlando Pace at left tackle or lines up on the right side, Smith will be a Week 1 starter. An accomplished pass protector with a down-and-dirty attitude, Smith will open holes for running back Steven Jackson and limit the number of times quarterback Marc Bulger gets knocked on his keister.
Aaron Curry, OLB, Seattle Seahawks
The '08 Butkus Award winner might be the most NFL-ready player. Curry will make his mark on the Seahawks' defense from the strong side, replacing Julian Peterson. Look for Curry to join the ranks of the 49ers' Patrick Willis, Panthers' Jon Beason and Patriots' Jerod Mayo -- recent linebackers who made instant impacts as rookies.
Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets
When a team trades up 12 spots in the first round and deals three veterans in the process, its plan probably isn't to sit the player as a rookie. As Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator last season, Rex Ryan saw what rookie quarterback Joe Flacco accomplished. As the Jets' new coach, he has visions of Sanchez doing similar things.