No wonder the Seahawks know all about Aaron Curry. The freakish outside linebacker from Wake Forest is expected to be among the first players taken in this month’s NFL draft.
Linebacker-thin Seattle owns the fourth overall pick.
“You know, I’ve heard some good things about him,” current, de facto starting linebacker Will Herring said of Curry after minicamp practice Wednesday. “A guy like him maybe could help the defense out.”
The 6-foot-2, 254-pound Curry made offensive linemen look like turnstiles on his way to poor college quarterbacks. At the league’s scouting combine in February, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.52 seconds. That was tied for the second-fastest among 130 outside linebackers tested, .02 seconds behind Wisconsin’s Jonathan Casillas. His 37-inch vertical leap was second-highest among the top linebackers. He is regarded as easily the best at his position in this crapshoot draft, which has no consensus top picks.
Perhaps no rookie could impact the Seahawks as immediately as a dynamic pass rusher and playmaker. Seattle finished last in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game and 30th in total defense while sinking to 4-12 in 2008.
Curry doesn’t exactly sound bashful about making an immediate splash in the NFL.
“I can come in instantly and make an impact on anybody’s defense,” Curry told reporters at the combine in Indianapolis. “And (with) my versatility as a linebacker to be able to play in the 3-4, inside or outside, or 4-3, inside or outside, you just can’t go wrong.”
He’s reputed to be so good, he may be gone before Seattle picks.
A month ago, the Seahawks had one of the best – and richest – linebacking corps in the league. Then they traded Peterson, their three-time Pro Bowler, to Detroit.
Herring was stunned.
“It caught me off guard,” he said on the eve of his third season out of Auburn. “I will say, Julian has been a great leader not just for me, but the entire linebacking corps. The experience I had with him was invaluable.”