NFL Draft Preview: Aaron Curry
In a draft year rich with talent at the linebacker position, the cream of the crop is certainly Wake Forest’s Aaron Curry, this year’s winner of the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker. Curry is the complete package at linebacker: size, speed, aggressiveness, and especially durability. He never missed a game due to injury in three years as a starter, and was one of the most productive defensive players in college football, totaling 332 tackles and 9.5 sacks in 51 career games at Wake Forest.
At 6’2″ and 254 pounds, Curry possesses the kind of size that is always coveted at linebacker, and that combined with all his other assets makes him a no-brainer top-10 pick in next month’s NFL Draft. He has the ability to help and attack against the run or pass, and has also shown solid pass-rush skills. He usually makes the smart tackle rather than always going for the big hit, but he is also capable of punishing opponents and knows when to do it. He can fit well into either a 3-4 or 4-3 defense.
His only weaknesses come mainly from his below-average hip movement, which limits his side-to-side quickness and could occasionally cause him to miss tackles against runners with good cutback moves. But he will be bigger than the player he is trying to stop most of the time, which will work to his advantage in the long run. The holes in his game could be plugged up within a few years. He’s a hard worker who is always looking to improve, the sign of a true elite prospect.
It’s tough to decide on the best fit for Curry within the top 10 teams at the draft; really any of them could use a linebacker of his caliber. But if Scott Pioli and the Chiefs don’t snap him up at #3, it would be nearly impossible for the Seahawks, Browns and Bengals to all pass on him. I predict the Chiefs do take him, though, because Pioli won’t be able to resist his versatility and talent for his rebuilding defense. He will have an immediate impact no matter where he ends up.
Check out this highlight video of Curry’s time at Wake Forest:
Other Aaron Curry Highlights:
- Returns an interception 77 yards for a touchdown against North Carolina
- Another interception returned for a TD, this time against North Carolina State
- Power-lifts 374 pounds with little trouble
- Delivers a punishing shoulder hit on a punt returner against Baylor
- Perfectly reads the screen pass and wraps up the receiver behind the line of scrimmage against Clemson
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