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Tribal Warfare
03-02-2009, 03:06 PM
NFL Combine Days 3 & 4: Is Curry really going No. 1? (http://www.fantasyfootballjungle.com/articles/index.php?id=615)
By Jonathan Hull

A great athlete makes what is challenging for most look easy.

I just described Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry to a tee.

Curry was nothing short of awesome during his workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine Monday, dominating in every event he took part in.

The measurable themselves are phenomenal. Curry is 6-2, 254 pounds. He ran a 4.56 40, which was the fastest time of the day. Bench press? 25 reps of 225 pounds Ė nothing to scoff at.

Explosion? A 37-inch vertical and leaping more than 10 feet in the broad jump proves heís explosive.

Quickness? Fluidity? One just needed to watch any of the LB drills Curry was put through Monday to know he had both of those skills down pat.

So where is the weakness? Thatís a question I canít find an answer for.

Most linebackers struggle in coverage drills, but Curry didnít. He didnít secure an interception in the drill. Ahhh, so we can trash his hands then!

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock wore out the phrase ďsafest pick in the draftĒ when referring to Curry. While it might have been annoying to hear Mayock sound like a broken record, his statement isnít off the mark either.

Often, linebackers are referred to as the safest pick. Current Green Bay Packer and former Ohio State Buckeye A.J. Hawk drew the same compliment. Some Packer fans will tell you theyíre not exactly impressed with Hawk either.

All I know is what I saw on the practice field in Indianapolis Monday was the most impressive display of all-around athleticism Iíve ever seen from a player Curryís size. His abilities transcend on film as well.

Now the talk of Curry being selected No. 1 overall by the Detroit Lions is picking up. Thereís one problem with this Ė heís a linebacker.

The last time a linebacker was taken No. 1 overall was in 1988 when the Atlanta Falcons took Aundray Bruce out of Auburn. In fact, since 1936 only four linebackers Ė Bruce, Chuck Bednarik (Philadelphia 1949), Tommy Nobis (Atlanta 1966) and Tom Cousineau (Buffalo 1979) Ė have been taken with the first pick in the draft.

Two of those picks turned out well. The other two were tragic.

Bruce was widely considered a bust, never panning out as the pass rusher many scouts thought he could be.

Cousineau never played a down for the Bills, spurning them after he thought the organization was rude to him. He went to the Canadian Football League, became a star and eventually came back to the NFL and played for the Browns and 49ers. He was a two-time All-Pro.

Nobis was a solid player for 10 seasons and made the Pro Bowl five times and was an All-Pro once.

Bednarik doesnít need any introduction. Heís one of the all-time greats to play the position and is a hall of famer.

So which way does Curry lean? Most will say heís more likely to side with Nobis and Bednarik.

Consider me in the majority. Curry is golden. An argument could be made to call him the best athlete in this draft class and most would agree he is the best football player available. Itís rare that a prospect can be called both of those things.

The Lions will consider Curry and I think theyíd actually be nuts to pass on him. Who else could they take?

A QB? I donít think Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez either one are No. 1 picks and Detroit is going to go with Daunte Culpepper as its starter next season.

OT? Jason Smith has definitely made himself the elite tackle prospect in this draft and is worthy of the selection, but this is one of the deepest OT classes in recent memory. Detroit could easily get a solid LT with pick 20.

Anyone else? I remarked B.J. Raji was worthy of being considered No. 1 overall in my last mock draft and I will stand by that remark. Raji further proved himself as a potential dominator at DT at the Combine. Detroit should give him a long, hard look.

So in my mind, the No. 1 overall pick is down to three players. Curry, Smith or Raji. I actually rank Raji the third choice now after the combine. My problem with the Lions going OT is that they all had questions heading into Indianapolis. Smith answered his questions and is a solid choice for No. 1 overall.

But is Smith a better prospect than Curry? I say no.

While OT is the sexier and more important position, Detroit could be giving itself the next Ray Lewis by selecting Curry No. 1 overall. Turned out Lewis, who was selected 26th overall by Baltimore in 1996, played a career worthy of a No. 1 pick.

I see a lot of Curry in Lewis, minus some of the off the field issues.

Curry is a leader in the locker room and he showed himself to be incredibly charismatic, making it very easy to like the guy. Heís a captain on the field and he backs up every bit of his talk with his play. Heís capable of wreaking havoc either inside or outside and can be a brilliant pass rusher when needed.

If Detroit posts Curry next to Ernie Sims, the Lions will find themselves with a linebacking duo that demands respect from opposing offenses from day one.

Hereís a quick look at the risers and fallers from the final two days of the Combine:

Risers

Clay Matthews, LB, USC

Matthews was one of the most impressive LBs throughout the day. He was second best in positional drills and looked smooth changing directions. He also showed the speed and agility to be a 3-4 OLB. Without a doubt, cemented himself in the first round.



Gerald McRath, LB, Southern Miss

There were some questions as to who the third-best ILB was going into the Combine. A four-man race because a two-man contest by the end of the third day. McRath is in the conversation, showing fantastic speed and agility.



Jason Phillips, LB, TCU

This is McRathís top competition in my opinion. Phillipsí 4.32 in the short shuttle was the most impressive number. That shows his ability to quickly change directions and get downhill on ball carriers.



Marcus Freeman, LB, Ohio State

Freeman was outshined by Matthews and Curry, but one could argue he was one of the more impressive specimens during positional drills.



B.J. Raji, DT, Boston College

Raji was fantastic again. He pushed his worth even further up, showing great agility and speed for a player his size. The best part about Raji is he plays just as quick as he performs drills.



Jarron Gilbert, DE, San Jose State

Gilbert had a lot of hype going into the Combine because of a YouTube video featuring him jumping out of three feet of water in a swimming pool and onto the ground. He was just as impressive testing. He weighed in at 289 pounds and ran a 4.87. He also showed good strength and explosion. I consider Gilbert the best 3-4 DE in the draft. Most will say Tyson Jackson, but Gilbert is very comparable and more productive. Gilbert is also more capable of rushing the passer from the interior DE spot in a 3-4.



Lawrence Sidbury, Jr., DE, Richmond

Sidbury made himself some money. Heís big enough for teams with the 4-3 scheme to consider him at DE, while heís athletic enough to play OLB in a 3-4. Sidbury could be a second round pick now. Heís definitely going to garner more attention.



Michael Johnson, DE, Georgia Tech

This isnít surprising. Johnson is an impressive athletic specimen. Itís on the inside that makes Johnson iffy. He doesnít always show the heart and effort, which will scare away several teams.



Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest

Swagger is important when talking about a CB. None of the other athletes at the position displays more than Smith. He plays with a high level of confidence and, despite his small stature, proved he has a nose for the ball. His size will keep him in the late first round, but he solidified that position at the Combine.



Sean Smith, DB, Utah

Smith is a big CB. Maybe too big. Heís 6-3, 214-pounds and runs a 4.52 40. The question about players that tall at the CB position is in the hips. How well can Smith rotate his hips in coverage? I think heís good enough, but donít be surprised if heís a safety in the NFL. In fact,I rate him as the best safety prospect in this draft.



David Bruton, S, Notre Dame

Having your name at the top of every workout list is not a bad thing. Itís great for exposure. In Brutonís case, it probably means heíll at least get drafted. I see him as a mid-round pick. He had a great Hawaii Bowl for Notre Dame and simply built on that momentum early in the draft season.



Fallers

Malcolm Jenkins, CB, Ohio State

Jenkinsí speed is a question. He fell. Thereís no doubt about it. Itís unfortunate, too. Jenkins is just a great football player and I think heíll be a steal for whatever team nabs him. I never liked him being projected in the top 5, and even the top 10 bothered me a lot. Heís not that type of prospect. He is, however, still the best CB prospect in this draft and should be in the top 15.



Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois

More was expected from Davis. He really had a let down and could have moved by Jenkins in the CB rankings.



D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt

Talk about a disappointing group of CBs. Moore had a chance to rise to the top of the CB class as well. Itís hard to believe that a guy with the athleticism Moore showed in the fast SEC didnít translate to the Combine. I do believe it will translate to the field.

OnTheWarpath58
03-02-2009, 03:10 PM
A QB? I donít think Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez either one are No. 1 picks and Detroit is going to go with Daunte Culpepper as its starter next season.

Is this writer a Chiefs fan?

What is it with people that refuse to acknowledge the future?

Sure, Culpepper is the starter THIS year. Then what happens in 2010?

You're forced to draft a spread QB that won't be ready?

Ridiculous.

HC_Chief
03-03-2009, 03:52 PM
Stafford is #1 this year by default; he was a pretty good college qb but is iffy as an NFL starter. He does, however, have experience... at least at the SEC level.

Sanchez is a risky pick that high due to inexperience. He has 16 starts total as a collegiate qb.

Nate Davis is a more tempting pick, but he comes from a mid-major conference, so his rating is tempered by competition level.

Josh Freeman has the build, but not the numbers/production.

It is a WEAK QB CLASS.

I'm convinced that Raji is the way to go. I can see other scenarios unfold, but with Raji's stock rising and KC's move to the 3-4, it makes the most sense at #3.

talastan
03-04-2009, 04:27 PM
Flame on for me saying this, but:

I remember a LB from Alabama as the very first pick, the last time we had a complete retooling of our FO. Call it karma, destiny, whatever; I have a gut feeling Curry will be there and we'll be picking him up. If I'm wrong so be it, it is just a random thought and premonition. :thumb:

Pasta Giant Meatball
03-04-2009, 04:35 PM
I hope we are able to trade down, because right now I'm not thrilled with any of our options at 3. Maybe one of the QB's causes someone to want to trade up. Easier said then done though...If Curry could rush the passer he'd be gold, but that is a question mark with him. Some think he can, but he admitted himself he doesn't have the experience doing it.

Kyle DeLexus
03-04-2009, 04:41 PM
I hope we are able to trade down, because right now I'm not thrilled with any of our options at 3. Maybe one of the QB's causes someone to want to trade up. Easier said then done though...If Curry could rush the passer he'd be gold, but that is a question mark with him. Some think he can, but he admitted himself he doesn't have the experience doing it.

Yep, it makes me a little uneasy when you answer is, "I can learn."

Thats easier said than done

Pasta Giant Meatball
03-04-2009, 04:47 PM
Yep, it makes me a little uneasy when you answer is, "I can learn."

Thats easier said than done

Definately something you do not want to hear when considering a guy top 3 and paying him that much money.

SNR
03-04-2009, 05:18 PM
Is this writer a Chiefs fan?

What is it with people that refuse to acknowledge the future?

Sure, Culpepper is the starter THIS year. Then what happens in 2010?

You're forced to draft a spread QB that won't be ready?

Ridiculous.Bradford/McCoy/Tebow best evar!!1 :whackit:

Dark Horse
03-04-2009, 07:43 PM
I hope we are able to trade down, because right now I'm not thrilled with any of our options at 3. Maybe one of the QB's causes someone to want to trade up. Easier said then done though...If Curry could rush the passer he'd be gold, but that is a question mark with him. Some think he can, but he admitted himself he doesn't have the experience doing it.

The only reason to trade to a certain spot to take a player is if you think someone is likely to take that player in the next spot. I think Seattle is happy with Hasselbeck and probably will not pick a QB no. 4 overall. Therefore no one is going to trade up with us to take a QB. They will trade to the spot just ahead of the first team who is in the market for one.

Dark Horse
03-04-2009, 07:49 PM
Yep, it makes me a little uneasy when you answer is, "I can learn."

Thats easier said than done

Actually its the same logic that gets college DE's drafted as LB's and that got Brandon Albert drafted as an lt. Most college pass rushers don't have a wide array of moves anyway they usually get by on athleticism alone and have to learn to be pass rushers in the NFL. Thats one of the reasons it takes them so long to transition. Curry certainly is athletic enough.

HC_Chief
03-04-2009, 08:00 PM
Flame on for me saying this, but:

I remember a LB from Alabama as the very first pick, the last time we had a complete retooling of our FO. Call it karma, destiny, whatever; I have a gut feeling Curry will be there and we'll be picking him up. If I'm wrong so be it, it is just a random thought and premonition. :thumb:

DT was a sack artist in college too. He got TWENTY SEVEN in 1988 while at Alabama. That's twenty-seven in ONE collegiate season.

Curry is an athlete, a very good LB, but not a sack artist.

Pasta Giant Meatball
03-04-2009, 08:14 PM
The only reason to trade to a certain spot to take a player is if you think someone is likely to take that player in the next spot. I think Seattle is happy with Hasselbeck and probably will not pick a QB no. 4 overall. Therefore no one is going to trade up with us to take a QB. They will trade to the spot just ahead of the first team who is in the market for one.

Hasselbeck will be 34 this year. I don't think anyone would be shocked if they went QB.

milkman
03-04-2009, 08:16 PM
The only reason to trade to a certain spot to take a player is if you think someone is likely to take that player in the next spot. I think Seattle is happy with Hasselbeck and probably will not pick a QB no. 4 overall. Therefore no one is going to trade up with us to take a QB. They will trade to the spot just ahead of the first team who is in the market for one.

Actually, with Hasselbeck turning 34 just after the season starts, this would be a great time for them to draft a QB like Sanchez to groom to replace him.

Pasta Giant Meatball
03-04-2009, 08:17 PM
Actually, with Hasselbeck turning 34 just after the season starts, this would be a great time for them to draft a QB like Sanchez to groom to replace him.

Smart man.

ILWarpaint
03-04-2009, 08:24 PM
Here's a good point someone made on a mock draft:

Now that they have their QB where do the Chiefs go at 3? They may pull the trigger on Aaron Curry here at 3, or they may go offensive tackle. I believe they will go with Aaron Curry. The most sure thing in this draft. And the numbers don't lie, Linebackers have proven to make imediate impacts their rookie seasons. Just look at some of the previous defensive rookies of the year.....

2003 - Terrell Suggs
2004 - Jonathan Vilma
2005 - Shawne Merriman
2006 - DeMeco Ryans
2007 - Patrick Willis
2008 - Jerod Mayo

http://www.squidoo.com/2009-NFL-Mock-Draft

Dark Horse
03-04-2009, 08:24 PM
Hasselbeck will be 34 this year. I don't think anyone would be shocked if they went QB.

My how time flies.

Dark Horse
03-04-2009, 08:25 PM
Actually, with Hasselbeck turning 34 just after the season starts, this would be a great time for them to draft a QB like Sanchez to groom to replace him.

That settles it trade down it is.

Kyle DeLexus
03-04-2009, 09:23 PM
Actually its the same logic that gets college DE's drafted as LB's and that got Brandon Albert drafted as an lt. Most college pass rushers don't have a wide array of moves anyway they usually get by on athleticism alone and have to learn to be pass rushers in the NFL. Thats one of the reasons it takes them so long to transition. Curry certainly is athletic enough.

Decent point, but Brandon Albert SHOULD HAVE been a LT. I haven't watched much film on Curry so I only have scouting reports to go by. Only a few of them say he has what it takes to be a pass rusher in the NFL, the vast majority don't mention it at all. Albert was also drafted at #15 not #3 thats a HUGE difference. For top 5 talent you don't want questions surrounding what you'd be drafting them to do. If Albert didn't work out at LT slide him over to another position and it's not as bad as spending the #3 pick on a 3-4 inside LB

Dark Horse
03-04-2009, 09:29 PM
Decent point, but Brandon Albert SHOULD HAVE been a LT. I haven't watched much film on Curry so I only have scouting reports to go by. Only a few of them say he has what it takes to be a pass rusher in the NFL, the vast majority don't mention it at all. Albert was also drafted at #15 not #3 thats a HUGE difference. For top 5 talent you don't want questions surrounding what you'd be drafting them to do. If Albert didn't work out at LT slide him over to another position and it's not as bad as spending the #3 pick on a 3-4 inside LB

Normaly I would agree, but I just don't see anyone that looks like a no 3 except for a QB or LT which we have already.

Kyle DeLexus
03-04-2009, 10:52 PM
Normaly I would agree, but I just don't see anyone that looks like a no 3 except for a QB or LT which we have already.

Oh I'm with you on that. The pick is either Raji or Curry depending on how the FO evaluates them. Depending on how they grade Curry, like I said I didn't watch much film on him so I don't know if they already had a pass rush and didn't need him to do that or what.

melbar
03-04-2009, 11:20 PM
Actually, with Hasselbeck turning 34 just after the season starts, this would be a great time for them to draft a QB like Sanchez to groom to replace him.

That would be the perfect situation for him. I think being thrown into a situation where he has to be the man on a bad team immediately with few pieces around him could ruin a great young prospect.

melbar
03-04-2009, 11:25 PM
Yep, it makes me a little uneasy when you answer is, "I can learn."

Thats easier said than done

From what I've seen and heard, he wasnt asked to often, but he did well when asked. I've seen him causing int's getting really close on a few. He also said at the combine "I have the strength and I have the speed, I just need the coaching. Coach me." Just doesnt sound like he was asked to often. Could be him, or could be other guys had that responsibility in the scheme. He got there awefully fast in the sacks he did have.

melbar
03-04-2009, 11:32 PM
Oh, ya...

I want it stated for the record, I wasnt the one who invoked Ray Lewis' name!LMAO:)

HC_Chief
03-04-2009, 11:36 PM
Actually, with Hasselbeck turning 34 just after the season starts, this would be a great time for them to draft a QB like Sanchez to groom to replace him.

Yep. Sanchez needs a few years. A team with a vet QB with a few years left in the tank would be a good fit for Mr Sanchez.

Worst possible fit would be a team that plugs him immediately into the starting lineup.

Kyle DeLexus
03-04-2009, 11:52 PM
From what I've seen and heard, he wasnt asked to often, but he did well when asked. I've seen him causing int's getting really close on a few. He also said at the combine "I have the strength and I have the speed, I just need the coaching. Coach me." Just doesnt sound like he was asked to often. Could be him, or could be other guys had that responsibility in the scheme. He got there awefully fast in the sacks he did have.

Oh I'm with you on that. The pick is either Raji or Curry depending on how the FO evaluates them. Depending on how they grade Curry, like I said I didn't watch much film on him so I don't know if they already had a pass rush and didn't need him to do that or what.

Got ya covered, brah! ROFL Great minds think alike eh?

Halfcan
03-06-2009, 09:01 PM
Flame on for me saying this, but:

I remember a LB from Alabama as the very first pick, the last time we had a complete retooling of our FO. Call it karma, destiny, whatever; I have a gut feeling Curry will be there and we'll be picking him up. If I'm wrong so be it, it is just a random thought and premonition. :thumb:

If Curry ia just half the player DT was-it will be a great pick.

Ari Chi3fs
03-08-2009, 12:59 AM
Im on the Curry bandwagon.

Short Leash Hootie
03-08-2009, 07:25 AM
Im on the Curry bandwagon.

Me too, but watch out for the drafturbators!

wild1
03-08-2009, 01:18 PM
I think Stafford will be good, but if he works out, it's gonna take some time. It might not look like a good pick when he's languishing with the Lions for a season or two but it's the right move for them.

I don't get the feeling that Pioli and company see this team as being a million miles off like the Lions are.

I don't either. If you look at the way this team lost games last year, if you get rid of the idiot coaching staff and bring in a good one, and someplayers who can lead, along with a QB - this team could win 6 or 7 this year I think.

Not that 6 or 7 is good enough, but I don't feel like Pioli and Haley are going to have that "so what, we're young" attitude. I think they see us as potentially winning playoff games starting in 2010 and with the right moves I believe they can.

wild1
03-08-2009, 01:19 PM
I wouldn't mind Curry. The front seven are this team's biggest need now that QB and GM and head coach are settled. Take the best player who would play in the front seven.