<
>

Okung, Thomas fill Seattle needs

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seahawks addressed their offensive front and defensive backfield with their two first-round choices.

In both cases -- tackle Russell Okung at No. 6 and safety Earl Thomas at No. 14 -- Seattle selected players that should become immediate starters.

There will be no project quarterbacks to develop even though Notre Dame's Jimmy Clausen remained available at both spots.

Thomas projects as the total package at safety and is exceptional in coverage, according to scouts.

The Pro Football Weekly draft guide I consult begins this way when discussing Thomas' strengths: "Makes plays -- has outstanding instincts and an advanced understanding of the game. Moves like a cornerback -- very athletic, fluid and agile."

Seattle absolutely, positively needed to address the left tackle and safety positions in this draft. The team had only two safeties on its roster after releasing veteran starter Deon Grant. Thomas gives them an immediate starter with Pro Bowl potential, according to scouts. I would expect the team to re-sign veteran safety Lawyer Milloy, who would be perfectly suited in a mentoring role.

Milloy played for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll at New England.