Aaron Curry, OLB, Wake Forest
Name: Aaron Curry
Position: Outside Linebacker
School: Wake Forest
40 Time: 4.50
Curry has incredible athleticism for his size, and very good athleticism period. COD is good, he keeps his feet underneath him, and he backpedals extremely well. He will be among the more athletic 4-3 OLBs in the league when he gets to the NFL.
Physical Talents: 7.0
Curry has an almost-perfect LB body type, being just a tad shorter than is “ideal”, but certainly nothing to complain about. He has superb strength in his body and above-average explosion when asked to blitz. The only real problem is a tendency to sometimes out-think himself.
Body Type: 7.0
For all you hear about how safe he is, his polish needs some work. He’s not a project by any means, but he doesn’t always make the best reads against the run (can get too aggressive) and really has some problems anticipating the pass in zone coverage. Makes the tackle, but would be better off stopping the play before the catch.
Understands Playbook: 6.5
Proper Technique: 6.0
Curry seems to have a great head on his shoulders, shows great toughness (was hurt in one game I watched, but overall track record is great) and effort, even playing special teams at a high level. He sometimes bites on play action or doesn’t read the run well, but it isn’t an effort or competitive drive problem.
Clutch Play: 66.5
Football Character: 7.0 Supposedly an extremely hard worker, and has a great NFL-ready body that shows dedication in the weight room.
Personal Character: 7.0 Should be a star in the community.
Durability: 6.5 Seems to have a good record, did get knocked up a bit in one game but was back for the rest of the season.
Linebacker Specific Skills
Read & React: 6.5 Generally reads very well, but does make some errors. Does a great job against the option, though, which is important with the spread of the “Wildcat” offense.
Initial Quicks: 7.0 First 2 steps are great, though not always maximized due to somewhat slow reaction to the play.
Hit Power: 6.0 He was asked to do so much for WF that he didn’t get to make the riskier tackles. Very safe tackler, but not a real hard hitter on a consistent basis. Certainly not a weakness.
Block Shedding: 7.5 TEs and even OL are going to have trouble blocking him at the NFL level on running plays, not as strong on passing plays.
Tackling: 7.0 Makes a lot of tackles and usually does a good job – only problem comes when he takes poor angles, but is generally secure.
Range: 7.0 Can cover vast areas of the field quickly, actually this is most prevalent in coverage as he spent a lot of time attacking the LOS against the run, opening things up for his teammates.
Man Coverage: 6.5 Athletically he has the ability to match up with anyone in the league at TE to RB. He jams TEs well but gives them a little too much room to prevent the big play.
Zone Coverage: 6.0 Again, the athleticism is there. But he seems to get picked on a bit by QBs (BC game in particular) in this area. Instincts don’t look great in this area, as he’s a little sluggish to pick up guys entering his zone.
Pass-Rush: 6.5 He’s big and strong and fast, with good explosion. He looks a little tight when asked to change directions, and is more of a “pressure” edge rusher than a guy who seals the deal.
Errors: 6.5 He doesn’t always read the run right, and he seems to have trouble with the passing game. Puzzling because he supposedly gets high marks for his smarts off the field, just not seeing any kind of genius on the field.
Summary: Curry is a very good player, and possibly the best defender in this draft. However, he is not a guy who is perfect as is, despite what some in the media say. He has great athleticism and strength, is a good person, and works hard. Mentally, his game still needs refining. My only real issue with Curry is that I don’t think, in a 4-3, he’ll have the kind of production to justify what a top-10 pick will earn. I’d rather put him in a 3-4 and let him do a mix of blitzing, short coverage, and playing gaps in the running game. He deserves a top-10 grade because he will be a great player, but like Alex Mack, I’m not sure I’d take him that high.
Final Grade: 6.7
Games Scouted: Baylor, Boston College, Navy, Vanderbilt
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