6-2/255 Wake Forest
Pros: Has excellent closing speed. Locks onto target and is like a heat- seeking missile able to destroy the ballcarrier. Has great pop as a tackler and puts you on your butt. Doesn't miss in the open ﬁeld and is a sound tackler. Does a good job in coverage as he has good quickness, footwork, and hips. Solid in zone coverage and does a nice job reading the QB. Will take on the fullback, sheds and make the stop. Does a good job attacking the line of scrimmage with excellent burst upﬁeld. Shows solid pass rush potential, with explosive ﬁrst step and shows a nice swim move and ability to turn the corner.
Cons: Needs to get better at the point of attack, getting off blocks. Can have trouble when he's lined up over the tight end, getting pushed back off the snap. Has trouble covering physical tight ends that can he can't jam. At times gets caught peeking in the backﬁeld when working in coverage.
Overview: Curry is a complete player, and his negatives really are things that can be tweaked and improved with minor coaching. He was not super-productive as a pass rusher with 9.5 career sacks, but wasn't often used in that role. Half of his career 6 interceptions he took to the house. The biggest black eye you can ﬁnd on him is that he was benched for a game because he missed a class as a junior. His half-brother is Patrick Pinkney.
NFL Forecast: Curry has the potential to be a true force of nature, and will have no problems adjusting to any scheme. He'll probably be labeled a SAM linebacker, which he played all four years at Wake Forest, but I think he would be a better NFL player as a WILL. Not as good when he's on the line as he is when he's off the line. But it's a small step down. He can play OLB in the 3-4 scheme, and while he lacks great production as a pass rusher, I have little doubts he'll be able to be a impact player there. I think he can be a double-digit sack guy in the 3-4 scheme. He can also play inside in either the 3-4 or 4-3, although probably a better ﬁt in the latter. He wouldn't be quite as good in the middle since he's best working in space, but he would still probably better than half the starters in the league as a MIKE. Basically Curry has the potential to be an elite player and has a small learning curve transitioning to the pro level. He can potentially have the immediate impact that a player like Shawne Merriman or Patrick Willis had as rookies.
ATL Forecast: Curry would likely be tried as a strongside linebacker for the Falcons and definitely would be an upgrade over Nicholas. I still think he would be better as a weakside guy, but it really doesn't matter. He'll be an impact defender regardless, able to put pressure on the QB, match up in coverage, and be a force of nature against the run. He could play MLB for the Falcons, but probably wouldn't be a huge upgrade over Lofton like he would be over Nicholas/Peterson on the outside. Within two, three years at the latest, Curry would be the most feared defender on the Falcons. Similar to the way Abraham is feared as a pass rusher, that's what Curry would be in all aspects of defense potentially. Defenses would have a single game plan: "Stay away from Curry!"
Value: Curry is the most complete and NFL ready player in this class and is worth the No. 1 overall pick.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
POINT OF ATTACK: 4.0
PASS RUSH: 4.0
Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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