Rookie Projections: Aaron Curry

It isn’t often that a linebacker is selected first overall in the NFL Draft. In fact, it hasn’t happened since 1988, when the Atlanta Falcons made Aundray Bruce the first overall pick.

Since then, there have been a handful of linebackers selected in the top five, but none quite worthy of the top spot. In the 2009 NFL Draft, Aaron Curry was chosen fourth overall. But if the Detroit Lions had selected him with the first overall choice, no one would’ve second guessed the pick. Actually, some people might argue that is what they should’ve done.

Charlie Casserly, a former general manager in the NFL, called Aaron Curry the best linebacker prospect in the last decade. Several analysts and talking heads declared him to be the safest pick in the 2009 draft; in other words, he was the best overall prospect.

So what should we expect from Curry in Seattle?

Should we expect to see a phenomenal athlete from day one? A guy who makes plays from sideline to sideline every Sunday? Is Curry a defensive athlete with a caliber of talent never seen before in Seattle?

Possibly, but we shouldn’t set the bar that high … yet.

There is no doubt in my mind that Curry has the talent, work ethic, and intelligence necessary to have success in the National Football League. We’ve been gifted with talented linebackers in recent years, but Curry is a prospect like we’ve never seen before.

Aaron Curry has the size you would expect to see from an All-Pro linebacker: 6’2”, 254 pounds. Compare that with our current linebackers, Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill, who are 6’0”, 242 pounds, and 6’1”, 238 pounds, respectively.

Curry possesses a unique athletic ability, which was demonstrated to scouts at the NFL Combine last February. He recorded a 4.56 40-yard dash, fastest of any linebacker. His vertical jump was 37 inches, and his broad jump was 10’4”, both better than the rest of the linebackers as well. He had 25 bench press repetitions at 225 pounds, which placed him in the top ten for his position. Needless to say, the guy is an absolute stud; a true physical specimen.

And Curry is not just limited to the weight room. His performance on the field speaks for itself. He is a complete linebacker; not only does he possess extraordinary athletic ability, but he also has excellent range and strength that perfectly complement his position.

But now that I’ve portrayed Aaron Curry as a divine prospect from above, what should we realistically expect from him in his rookie campaign?

Assuming Aaron Curry remains healthy and starts all 16 regular season games in 2009, I don’t have a doubt that he’ll be a force for Seattle’s defense. I’m not sure if he’ll achieve tremendous statistics his first year, but he’ll definitely make an impact.

I expect Curry to earn a starting linebacker position on the strong side, playing alongside Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill. Assuming the defensive line play is improved, Curry should finish with quite a few tackles – although slightly below Tatupu’s and Hill’s totals – and make a handful of game breaking plays.

PROJECTED STATISTICS:

Games Played:            16

Games Started:           16

Total Tackles:              85

Sacks:                        2.0

Interceptions:              3

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Tags: Aaron Curry Atlanta Falcons Aundray Bruce Charlie Casserly Detroit Lions LeRoy Hill Linebacker Lofa Tatupu NFL Combine NFL Draft Projections Prospect Rookie Seattle Seahawks Statistics Wake Forest

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