Aaron Curry, Linebacker
Wake Forest University
First round, 4th overall pick
I couldn’t have scripted a better situation for the Seattle Seahawks in the top of the first round. I honestly didn’t think there was any chance that Curry would fall out of the top three, although my mock draft did have the Seahawks selecting him – most likely wishful thinking on my part. Along with several other fans, I considered Curry to be the best prospect available in the 2009 NFL Draft. Here is something I wrote about Curry for NFLMocks.com, when asked who I thought the best player was in the draft:
The best player in this year’s draft is Aaron Curry. Unfortunately for Seattle, they’re already loaded at the linebacker position (with both talent AND financial obligation), but it is likely that Curry won’t slip to them with the fourth overall selection anyways. Curry has been proclaimed the best linebacker of the 2009 class, and absolutely proved his physical prowess at the NFL combine: 4.56 40-yard dash, 25 bench reps at 225 pounds, a 37-inch vertical, and a broad jump of 10′4″. Along with his outstanding athleticism, speed, and quickness, Curry also combines a good blend of size and bulk. He stands just above 6-foot-1 and weighs over 250 pounds. Plays with great awareness, and is extremely aggressive on the football field. Quarterback and franchise tackles, arguably the two most important positions on the field, will get the most media coverage, but Curry is — without question — the best prospect in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Curry could have been selected by Detroit with the first overall pick, and no one would have flinched. In fact, more people would’ve probably applauded the decision to select Curry over Stafford. The Seahawks truly have found an unbelievable talent and amazing athlete in Curry. He should immediately find a spot in the starting lineup next season and develop into a legitimate All-Pro player.
Max Unger, Center
University of Oregon
Second round, 49th overall pick
After finding myself extremely impressed and pleased that Seattle was able to trade a 2009 second-round pick for a 2010 first-round pick, I was winding down for the day. Seattle was now without a pick in the second round, and they wouldn’t be drafting again until the next morning. Or so I thought. Seattle abruptly executed a trade that allowed them to select Max Unger deep into round two of the NFL Draft.
Another selection that presents great value, Unger could have been a justifiable first-round pick. Seattle would’ve been more than comfortable drafting him with their original pick in the second round (37th overall), but were able to marvelously maneuver around and achieve higher value.
Max Unger was a four-year starter at Oregon who combines intelligence and character with his exceptional physical tools. His versatility was an attraction for a lot of teams; Unger played every position on the offensive line in college, and offers enough versatility to provide excellent depth at the next level. He should develop nicely, and may even have the opportunity to start next season.
With the durability and continuous health of a lot of linemen in question, Unger is a great addition. Starting center Chris Spencer has been somewhat disappointing thus far, and has failed to demonstrate the durability and intelligence necessary to be successful at the center position. Right guard Rob Sims has experienced some durability issues as well, and the left guard position hasn’t been solidified since Steve Hutchinson departed – Mike Wahle is a good player, but he isn’t very young and has been troubled by recent injuries as well.
I look forward to seeing Max Unger in camps this offseason, and it should be interesting what role he’ll play next season. As a fan of the Washington Huskies, it’ll be much better having this guy on our side – the Ducks haven’t been shy about displaying physical dominance over the Huskies in recent years.
Topics: 2009 NFL Draft, 2010 NFL Draft, Aaron Curry, All-Pro, Center, Chris Spencer, First Round, Linebacker, Matthew Stafford, Max Unger, Mike Wahle, Oregon, Oregon Ducks, Pro Bowl, Rob Sims, Seattle Seahawks, Second Round, Steve Hutchinson, Tim Ruskell, Wake Forest, Washington Huskies