Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com 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.
NFL.com ranks Seattle’s schedule 24th toughest overall, with five games against playoff qualifiers last season.
Seahawks general manager Tim Ruskell discusses the draft with Seahawks.com’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.