Seattle wide receiver Paul Richardson, drafted in the second round (No. 45 overall), was lost for the postseason earlier this month with a torn ACL in his left knee. The Seahawks did not have a first-round pick after trading the 32nd overall selection to the Vikings. New England drafted defensive lineman Dominique Easley of Florida in the first round at No. 29 overall, but he was lost for the year to a knee injury, as well. Richardson was making more of an impact prior to his injury.
His playing time spiked after the Seahawksjettisoned Percy Harvin in a trade, and he recorded 15 of his 29 receptions over the last four weeks of the regular season. His next catch -- a 21-yard reception against Carolina in the playoffs -- was his last. Easley had played sparingly after spending the offseason rehabbing a torn ACL of his own.
You won't find any instant stars here, or much instant help of any kind, for that matter. The primary contribution for both teams has been, for each, a starter on the offensive line. New England fourth-round pick Bryan Stork of Florida State has handled the center position for most of the season and is returning from injury for the Super Bowl. Seattle second-rounder Justin Britt, of Missouri, is a regular starter at right tackle.
Beyond that, things didn't start well for most of these rookies. Of the 17 draft picks between the teams, only two figure to start in the Super Bowl (Britt and Stork), while 11 were either cut, injured, or are otherwise not on the active roster.
Here is a look at the rookie classes for each:
WR Kevin Norwood, 4th round (No. 123 overall), from Alabama
The Alabama product has been a reliable backup but caught just nine passes on the year.
DE Cassius Marsh, 4th round (No. 108 overall), from UCLA
A broken foot landed Marsh on injured reserve in October. He made five stops on the year as a backup.
DL Jimmy Staten, 5th round (No. 172 overall), from Middle Tennessee State
Staten has been bounced between the practice squad and being released by the club.
DB Eric Pinkins, 6th round (No. 208 overall), from San Diego State
Returned from his injury in Week 7, but has been unable to play his way onto the active roster.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
RB James White, 4th round (No. 130 overall), from Wisconsin
The former Badgers star has appeared in just three games, getting nine carries.
OL Cameron Fleming, 4th round (No. 140 overall), from Stanford
The right tackle actually started a game at guard at one point, but he has only appeared in seven games, most as a reserve.
CB Malcolm Butler, undrafted free agent, from West Alabama
The preseason roster longshot has appeared in 11 games and broken up three passes in a reserve role.
DL Zach Moore, undrafted free agent, from Concordia
Moore has appeared in eight games with one start, even getting an assisted sack against Chicago on Oct. 26.
LB Cameron Gordon, undrafted free agent from Michigan
Gordon was placed on injured reserve in August.