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Morning links: Curry tumbling down draft board?

Post by Eric Williams on April 15, 2009 at 10:32 am with 55 Comments »
April 15, 2009 10:32 am

Rob Rang of talks to Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry in part three of a four-part series following the talented linebacker up to draft day.

Rang’s story focuses on the possible drop of Curry to as far as No. 8 to the Jags in the draft. Considered the safest pick in the draft, there’s been some debate as to whether Curry will be an inside or outside linebacker at the next level.

Here’s what Rang had to say about Curry’s possible slide.

With every team in the top six having either privately worked him out or invited him to tour their facility (or both), Curry’s popularity with teams is nearly as impressive as his game film or the athleticism he has shown in drills. However, there is still some talk among league insiders that Curry could take a surprising tumble on draft day.

One general manager, who asked not to be identified, characterized Curry as "probably the safest guy this year," but still thinks he’s "fighting history to be taken as high as you all [the media] think."

The point is a valid one.

Only one linebacker has been selected earlier than the ninth overall pick since 2001, and the exception — Green Bay’s A.J. Hawk — is a solid starter but has yet to show the playmaking ability expected from a player taken with the fifth overall pick in 2006.

The meteoric rise in quarterback Mark Sanchez’s stock since the Southern Cal pro day and the belief that Curry fits best outside in the 4-3 alignment is prompting some within the scouting community to suggest that Curry could slip — perhaps all the way down to the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 8 overall.

Prominent in the rationale for why Curry could slip is the belief that his size and skills don’t translate particularly well to the 3-4 defense. The inside linebacker position in the 3-4 defense — the position many feel Curry, at 6-feet-2 and 254 pounds, fits best — is generally considered the least valuable of the linebacker positions in either the 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.

Therefore, while it appears easy to project Curry to the Chiefs or Browns due to their obvious needs for a pass rusher, many believe GMs Scott Pioli and George Kokinis will ultimately look elsewhere.

Rang currently has Curry going to the Jags at No. 8.

Curry, again showing that he gets it, has invited a young leukemia survivor to attend the NFL Draft with him in New York.

John Czarnecki of Fox Sports (hat tip Seahawks Draft Blog) ranks every team’s draft

from 2003 to 2008,
and gives the Seattle Seahawks a B grade, stating Marcus Trufant and Lofa Tatupu are a wash for the team’s top picks during that period.

Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Draft Weekly lists Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji as two of the top-five most riskiest players in the draft.

Among the toughest schedules in the league, Seattle’s 2009 schedule ranks 22nd according to Albert Breer of the Sporting News. ranks Seattle’s schedule 24th toughest overall, with five games against playoff qualifiers last season.

Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell discusses the draft with’s Tony Ventrella.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports is reporting that the N.Y. Giants are expected to acquire Cleveland wide receiver Braylon Edwards through trade. Does this make wide receiver Michael Crabtree a likely selection for the Browns if he falls to No. 5?

Also from Yahoo Sports (hat tip Seahawks Addicts), Charles Robinson ranks the winners and losers in the NFL’s 2009 schedule release.

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Leave a comment Comments → 55
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Despite reading this, I find it hard to believe he gets past KC. Thay have now, one of the oldest LIb corps in the league. I guess I’ll believe it when I see it.

  2. HawkFromDay1 says:

    So wait now, Seattle gets 14 starters, and 2 pro bowlers and gets a B.

    Arizona does EXACTLY the same thing and gets an A?

  3. freedom_X says:

    I think Seattle’s lower grade vs. AZ is because AZ kept more of their players. More of Seattle’s players are starters on other teams.

    As far as Curry, since Seattle runs a 4-3, he’s a better fit here than KC with their desire to go to a 3-4 eventually. I don’t think I’d be taking a middle linebacker with the 3rd overall pick. I’d want to be feel good that he’ll project to a top-notch 3-4 OLB. He won’t be a bust anywhere he plays, but it could be the difference between being a solid player and fringe Pro Bowler or a perennial All-Pro caliber player.

  4. I don’t get his rating system when it comes to probowlers?
    So we have picked some of the best and not held onto some isn’t that a sign that we pick really good talent and that other teams are willing to pay SMALL fortunes for them when their rookie contracts end.
    So either we have 3 ProBowlers on the team now that we drafted – Tru, Walt, Lofa, Or in total you add in Hamlin, Lucas, and the rest so that number goes up.
    Or is he saying the guys that just played in the most recent probowl – which in fairness who cares – actually why do i care… the probowl is voted in by the masses and most don’t know much about any seattle player!

  5. Dukeshire says:

    “The Seahawks nailed two starters last year in Lawrence Jackson and tight end John Carlson.” Nailed Jackson? Oh, you mean the first round bust (to date, he may develop) that was benched? That tells you all you need to know about his “system”.

  6. I think (or hope) Jackson improves a great deal this year, he had problems with injury’s last year (who did not have problems with injury’s last year?) And he is still young and he’s got talent he played at USC for gods sake, so hopefully we can get a good player out of him, but if he will ever become more than just “a good player” thats another question, and i don’t think he will

  7. Off topic a bit but another potential trade partner. skins don’t have much to give this year but would you drop to 13 for a 1st rd next year?

    USC QB Mark Sanchez has become “the hot target” at Redskins Park, sources tell the Washington Post.

    Sanchez would need some Pancake Blocks Mock-style bad luck to fall to No. 13, but owner Dan Snyder may be willing to package picks for a move up. Sanchez’s accuracy and athleticism would be an ideal fit in Jim Zorn’s West Coast offense, and Snyder seems intent on replacing Jason Campbell.
    Source: Washington Post

  8. The two links that rate strength of schedule are interesting. Did not Pittsburgh win the Super Bawl? Then why do they have the easiest schedule in the AFC? The Sporting News rating has them with the easiest in the entire NFL.


    They only play 6 teams with winning records.

  9. freedom_X says:

    It’s the instant gratification mentality. Most defensive linemen do very little their first season, those that have big impact are by far the exception rather than the rule. Mario Williams was labeled a bust after his rookie year – remember all the people crying out how Reggie Bush or Vince Young should have been picked instead. In Seattle, even the mighty Cortez Kennedy was considered a rookie disappointment. Eric Hayes, a 5th round tackle picked in the same draft, outperformed Kennedy.

  10. almost every scenario of trading down says we need to get next year’s first in return. i can’t see a team giving up next year’s first pick to swap with us this year to #4. its just too expensive. but do we really have to stick to the old jimmy johnson value of picks chart? what if, to use the above example, the redskins are willing to swap this year #13 for #4, and also give us their second round pick? or even a second and a fourth?

    i don’t know if they have those picks even, i am just asking though is the number chart relevant anymore when there is no clear cut guy you want to pay 30 mil right out of the gate? i wouldn’t complain if timmay traded down and didn’t get as much as some years others have got. i would be ok with, just to throw an idea out there, we swap with denver or washington, take jenkins to be cb/s with the mid-teens pick, and also got a third rounder this year and a second rounder next year, even though on the number chart thats way too low.

  11. ..and that didn’t last too long….

  12. Drop to 13 for a 1st rounder next year, i would almost say hell yeah! We could pick up a pass rusher, an outside linebacker, Jenkins, Moreno (I mentioned him today) a guy like Oher, but an extra pick like a 3rd of 4th rounder on top would be prefered

  13. UnofficialVoice says:

    You cannot rank Jackson as a bust after his rookie year, if you do then you need to read more about football.

    Each rookie can really only be evaluated after 3 years – THREE.

    Most rookies get to the NFL and cannot beleive how strong, fast, and technical these guys are and Jackson is no exception. Patrick Kearney had an equivilent rookie season and developed quite nice .

  14. nighthawk2 says:

    “The Bengals have drafted some good offensive linemen in Eric Steinbach, Stacy Andrews and Eric Ghiaciuc…”

    Good? Steinbach yeah, Andrews is pretty average, but the Bengals either were unable or unwilling to retain them in free agency. Eric Ghiaciuc was so bad fans were chanting “Ghiasuck” whenever he was on the field. He left Parys Haralson off the list 49ers good picks but includes Manny Lawson? Guy was a 5th round steal. 49ers fans and some media are saying Lawson is a bust.

    I don’t think wanting a 1st round pick to play like a first round pick is really unreasonable. If Jackson isn’t going to play well until his second year, then he really isn’t 1st round talent, and perhaps we’d have been better off passing on him an taking S Kenny Phillips instead, who would have made an immediate impact. That’s water under the bridge, Jackson may come on like gangbusters in his 2nd season (Tubbs did, before tearing up both knees) but our history with other recent 1st round picks shows they never really got much better.

    What Rang said about linebackers is echoed in this critique of linebackers taken in the Top 5 in the last decade:

  15. jacdg, would you be willing to drop to #13 though if we didn’t get a 1st rounder next year? we could still take one of the guys you mention, but what if we only get two 3rd rounders for trading down or something like that?

  16. what happened to the ken lucas to seattle signing? no word?

  17. nighthawk2 says:

    Washington (13th pick) does not have a 2nd, 4th or 7th round pick this, although they do have a 7th round compensatory pick.

  18. nighthawk i have no idea if you’re referring to my question, but if so i was just naming a team thats been in the news and in this set of comments. my point was just that the idea of getting a first rounder next year might be asking for too much, but there might be options to trade down if all we ask for is a couple of 2nd or 3rd rounders. for me that would be worth it as the 4th pick is too expensive.

  19. RichmondHawk says:

    Curry’s like JP without the pass-rush.

  20. ChrisHolmes says:

    I think there’s a better chance of Detroit allowing the clock to run out than anyone trading with Seattle for #4.

    If there’s a trade in the top 5 picks this year I’ll be shocked.

  21. “Curry’s like JP without the pass-rush. ”

    but can actually tackle in the open field. Hill can rush the passer and was quite effective the last 2 years at it

  22. nighthawk2 says:

    I was just pointing out the Redskins draft pick situation because someone said they were really interested in Sanchez, but they don’t have a lot of ammo to move up with.

  23. Eric Williams says:

    Pdway: No word on Lucas. I probably would not expect anything until after the draft, when Lucas can get a better look at what team’s needs are.

  24. Curry’s like JP without the pass-rush.

    JP in his prime!

  25. Dukeshire says:

    “You cannot rank Jackson as a bust after his rookie year, if you do then you need to read more about football.”

    What I said was “to date”. Meaning he had an awful rookie year, by any measure. I did not mean to imply that his career is now a bust. As I have said here, numerous times, he may develop (I expect dramatic improvement next season) into a quality DE. But in context of the above article, to give credit to the Seahawks for selecting him because they “nailed a starter” as a result, is a ridiculous statement, after his first season.

  26. nighthawk2 says:

    Jamie Dukes from says we should take Andre Smith at 4th, and says “Walter Jones is still one of the best tackles in the league, but he has 12 seasons under his belt and he is recovering slower than expected from microfracture knee surgery. If Jones is ready, Smith can play guard for a year or so and move into the tackle spot when Jones retires.”

    That would get Hasselbeck on IR quickly. Smith has real trouble with speed edge rushers. I wouldn’t take Smith with a 2nd round pick, personally. A slacker idiot like that? No thanks.

  27. Dukeshire says:

    Jamie Dukes? Good grief, there’s another complete idiot.

  28. nighthawk2 says:

    Along with Mike Maycock and several others on Network.

  29. You guys should really lay off of the whole lo-jack’s a bust thing. DEs have historically struggled their first year in the NFL. A lot of it has to do with them adding the strength necessary to succeed at this level Even in recent history people thought Mario Williams was a bust after his rookie season, now he’s a franchise end. I’m not saying he’s as good as Williams, and Lo-Jack may prove to be a bust, but you can’t stick him with that label after 1 season. A little bit of patience before we start chucking hawks under the bus, please.

  30. nighthawk2 says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how someone gets an ‘o’ out of Lawrence. LoJack is a vehicle theft recovery system.

  31. chuck_easton says:


    It’s the phonetic. Lawrence is usually pronounced Lo-Rance so many people I know with the rirst name Lawrance go by Lo instead of Larry. Go get a copy of hooked on phonics and you’d see where people come up with the nickname.

  32. Dukeshire says:

    I’m done trying to explain something that I made perfectly clear. The comprension level here is appalling.

  33. Not Curry…

    Knowsh… can’t do it, can’t do it… day 2…

  34. NickLicatasucks says:

    Draft talk is great. Curry hasn’t played a down since Bowl season and his value rises and drops daily. So many smoke screens. I don’t think any team wants a top five pick this year. only desperate team will move, and nobody is desperate until draft day.

    I hope the Hawks pick Curry, I think the guy is a stud and will immediately give the Hawks another
    playmaker on defense. Add to that he can play inside or outside in a 4-3, and you now
    have a suitable back-up for Lofa and Leroy. Plus, the guy is smart.

    LoJack aint no bust, not after one year. Andre Smith will never be a Seahawk.

    Its a shame that some rookies will get 20 million guaranteed and do nothing with it. that’s the problem here. Otherwise everyone would love a top five pick. But there is too much guaranteed money

    Jamie Dukes is not a scout. Do not listen to him. Ruskell is a scout. Draft day will be fun.

  35. edstang45 says:

    I still want Curry!!!! We can get help throughout the draft for OL QB RB CB etc. But Curry is the guy!!!!

  36. Nick – I’ve said that all along about Oher too. He was the best or second best, and then all of a sudden he doesn’t play a game for months and then others supposedly got so much better than him. It’s a joke.

  37. nighthawk2 says:


    It’s the phonetic. Lawrence is usually pronounced Lo-Rance so many people I know with the rirst name Lawrance go by Lo instead of Larry. Go get a copy of hooked on phonics and you’d see where people come up with the nickname.”

    Yeah, I got it. Just joking around, because I don’t understand the propensity so many have for nicknames and abbreviations. I’ve never met anyone named Lawrence who goes by Lo instead of Larry.

    Edstang45, are you suggesting that we can’t get help through the draft for linebacker from anyone but Curry? This guy isn’t the next Derrick Brooks, as Fisher said. And it’s not clear he can play weakside linebacker in a cover 2, which means Hill would have to play out of position over there again.

    I found this interesting in the link about the 5 riskiest players in the draft:

    “2) WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech (Soph.-3)
    Crabtree may not have a laundry list of arrests, but his ego is abnormally large to the point where he repeatedly demeaned training staff, his work ethic has been described as "marginal at best," and his intelligence and ability to handle success remain major question marks. One thorough evaluator compared Crabtree’s mental makeup to that of former LSU and Buccaneers 2004 15th overall pick Michael Clayton, who made a big splash in the NFL as a rookie before going on to average 31 catches, 378 yards and a half-TD catch each of the past four years as he lost focus, bought into the hype and stopped working at his craft the way young receivers must do to be great. Crabtree’s competitiveness noticeably stands out on tape, and he did play through injury last season. However, when the Red Raiders were getting whipped by better competition (Oklahoma and Mississippi) during the final two games of the season, Crabtree did not finish either game. After he gets a taste of success in the pros, evaluators are not confident he will be able to handle the trappings of the pro game.”

  38. freedom_X says:

    I don’t think Jackson was awful. Below average, perhaps, but if he was awful he would have been benched. And please don’t regale me with the “Ruskell doesn’t want to admit he made a mistake” chorus, please. Holmgren played whomever he wanted whenver he wanted, who wasn’t injured.

    The rise and fall of players on mock draft boards has little to do with how the “evaluators” (authors of the boards) feel. It is mostly based on what they’re hearing from NFL front office people. the better their sources, the more accurate it is.

    If Nawrocki from Pro Football Weekly thinks Seattle might take Moreno at #4, it’s not because he watched tape and interviewed Moreno and suddenly said, “by Jove, Moreno is Ruskell’s kind of guy!” It’s because he’s heard sources that think Seattle may be leaning towards him.

    If an Oher or Curry lose stock, it’s based on what these people are hearing. No one knows what their true value is until draft day. Who knows, Oher might go top 4, if teams have done a good enough job of keeping their true evalulations secret. Same with Moreno, or anyone else. Maybe Smith being the top OT is a smokescreen. There’s a lot of information that these teams keep screet too, but won’t ever come out until after draft day (for example, players that they’ve totally removed from their draft boards because of character concerns.)

  39. Dukeshire says:

    “I don’t think Jackson was awful. Below average, perhaps, but if he was awful he would have been benched.” He was benched. He lost his starting spot to Tapp.

  40. I noticed something about Ruskells four Seahawk drafts. Of the 24 players still on the team, 12 are on offense, 10 on defense and 2 on special teams. However, only 2 of the offensive players came in the first three rounds. Five came in rounds six and seven. Of the 10 players, seven came in the first three rounds and none in rounds six or seven.

    That can be interpreted in several ways. I interpret as the offense getting shafted.

  41. We should trade skins.. Our #4 pick for their 1st round in both this year and next year. In addition to Colt Brennan and Laron Landry… oh and they can have brian russell as an added bonus

  42. I agree kinger12. When you’re scoring a team’s draft picks, it shouldn’t matter if they went somewhere else in free agency.

    Maybe that should count against the team if you’re scoring them on how they handled free agency. But as far as their draft goes, they should get credit for drafting players whose value wasn’t more widely recognized until later.

  43. Mr_Fish — EXACTLY… that’s why even though that GA RB “shouldn’t” be taken at #4, if we do, I doubt people will be mad about it a few years down the road when he’s proven that he is a stud…

    I couldn’t help it. I really want him (and then a heavy doseage of OL, starting in Round #2).

  44. Dukeshire says:

    If they take him, you need to get his jersey. Just like if they get Chung, for me.

  45. And then wear it for probably the Chicago game (week 3).

  46. Dukeshire says:

    Is that the game you’re coming to?

  47. freedom_X says:

    Jackson did start 12 games. If he was that bad, Holmgren would not have started him that long.

    It became apparent that Jackson wasn’t getting any better though (possibly due to the inury, perhaps due to rookie overload or getting worn out) so the change was made. In reality, I was surprised Jackson was put in the starting lineup so soon (wasn’t that the 1st game of the year?)

    He must have shown something to get the start that soon. I think he played the run well in preseason and they hoped his pass rush would come along, but it didn’t.

    As far as Ruskell picking so much defense – that’s because the defense was starved in the early years of Holmgren’s GM reign. Most of Holmgren’s picks were spent on offense, and so with the defense aging, picks had to be spent there to build it back up. That’s why last year was such a crashing disappointment – it should have been the maturation of a young defense ready to dominate for years, but instead it flopped abysmally.

    But Holmgren himself stated a couple years ago that if he could do it all over again, he’d probably build the defense 1st instead of the offense.

  48. tp10super10 says:

    Phew..I was worried I would go through 50 comments and not hear that Seattle is “supposed” to draft Mack, Max Unger, Patrick Chung, Joey Harrington, Johnathan Stewart, Dennis Dixon, Keith Lewis, Luke Ridnour, Aaron Brooks, Steve Prefontaine…

    Any other Ducks you guys want to draft?

  49. tp10super10 says:

    Oh Alex Mack went to Cal? I had no idea.

  50. nighthawk2 says:

    Aaron Brooks went to Virginia, not Oregon. Perhaps you’re thinking of Akili Smith.

    I wouldn’t mind Jeremiah Johnson in a late round, or Jairus Byrd in a middle round, or Fenuki Tupou as a guard in a middle round, since you asked. I’d really like to have that guy Maurice Morris too.

  51. Dukeshire says:

    freedom_X – IMO, Jackson should have never been given the starting assignment, to start the season. Tapp had replaced Jackson by week seven. And it wasn’t until Kerney was injured in week 9 that he started again. Kerney doesn’t get hurt, Jackson doesn’t start the rest of the season. I’m not trying to make a case against the guy, but last year is there for everyone to see, and it wasn’t pretty.

  52. I think Chicago. Perhaps Jax or AZ…

  53. Dukeshire says:

    tp10super10 – Don’t forget we need to reacquire Maurice Morris.

  54. nighthawk2:
    I believe (hint: inclusion of Luke Ridnour) he did mean Aaron Brooks (currently employed by the Houston Rockets) but sure, Akili Smith too – maybe he has “matured” now. Brady Leaf anyone?? Rocket Arm – all that matters right? This is all in jest, but seriously, (outside of QB) Oregon has roduced some serious NFL talent over the years…

  55. nighthawk2 says:

    Ah, since I don’t follow basketball at all I wasn’t aware of an Aaron Brooks in basketball.

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