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Meet Aaron Curry, The Safest Pick in the Draft

Mark TravisCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2009

Linebacker Aaron Curry is the safest player to pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, and, if it weren’t for Michael Crabtree, the best player in the draft.

The Wake Forest product was simply amazing at this year’s NFL Combine, wowing scouts with his quick feet and massive upper body.

Curry comes out of college as a hard-hitting linebacker measured at 6-foot-2-inches and 254 lbs. Aaron became a national name for scouts in 2007 and is headed to the pros with a lot of hardware. He was named All-Conference in the ACC three times, a one-time All-American, and was the 2008 Dick Butkus award winner.

Curry was the top performer in five events at the Combine, including the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, and the 60-yard shuttle. He put up a very impressive time of 4.56 in the 40.

That means that Curry outran all but seven running backs, all of the quarterbacks (excluding Pat White), and all but one of the tight ends. Aaron also topped the list for the 60-yard shuttle, completing it in 11.35 seconds.

Still not impressed? Well, Curry can jump, too. He posted a 10'4" inch broad jump and a 37-inch vertical, the best numbers for a linebacker. His strength also came into play when he put up an impressive 25 reps at 225 lbs.

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Most scouts view Curry as a Keith Bullock with a little bit more speed. Here are some scouting reports on Aaron:

"Curry is an athletic, physical linebacker who makes plays all over the field. He’s aggressive at the line of scrimmage and is a force against the run. He uses his hands effectively, sheds blocks and creates havoc in the backfield. He has a good burst and is excellent in pursuit. He displays good lateral movement; a little stiff in the hips, but gets good depth on his drops." Chris Steuber, Scout.com

"Possesses a terrific blend of size and bulk…Exceptional speed, quickness and athleticism…Very physical and tough…Excellent strength and power…Extremely aggressive…Outstanding instincts and awareness…Offers a lot of versatility…Reliable tackler who will deliver the big hit…Really uses his hands well…Does a nice job of taking on and shedding blockers…Superb pass rusher and blitzer…Has sideline-to-sideline range…Will attack and fill against the run…Comfortable in space…Can match up and make plays in coverage…Has a lot of experience…Durable and never missed a game due to injury…Smart…Hard worker…Team leader…Super productive." NFL Draft Countdown

"Curry is a big-play linebacker and can deliver the big hit and cover a lot of ground. He is also extremely versatile and does a good job against both the run and the pass. The only negative to find with Curry is his awareness. There are times when he is out of position and makes mistakes.

The hype might be low right now, but NFL scouts will not let Curry slip under the radar for too long. He has the tools and experience to be a first-round draft pick and that will not change between now and April." FFToolbox

As a prospect, there is a lot to like with Curry. At 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds, Curry has good size. As a four-year starter, he also has a ton of experience. Curry is as good of a defensive leader as there is in this year’s class. He can command a squad and call adjustments.

Extremely reliable tackler who uses good fundamentals. Closes quickly when he has an open lane. What should make Curry an immediate starter is his pass coverage skills. Can sink his hips and backpedal nicely. Does a good job staying with most tight ends and making a play on the ball." Mocking the Draft

Curry did not only show off his skills during his workouts, he also answered some doubters. Most believed that he had poor hip movement, especially when turning from side to side, but he definitely silenced those critics as he looked perfect in a drill designed for players to move their hips and follow the ball.

If Crabtree is 100 percent right now, I would say he is the safest and best pick in the draft. But Aaron Curry has a shot to gain a few million dollars from Crabtree’s injury.

If the Lions don’t select Aaron Curry at No. 1, I will be very surprised. As a team that gave up over 400 yards a game last season, why not take a solid defensive player? I bet there will still be a QB available at No. 20.

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