The Seahawks welcomed their highest draft pick in 12 years

aaron-curry-no-4-pick-nfl-draft1“The Seahawks welcomed their highest draft pick in 12 years Monday morning and then in the afternoon announced the return of a familiar face.

Linebacker Aaron Curry was introduced at the team’s lakefront headquarters with a sharp suit, an easy sense of humor and the irrepressible smile of a North Carolina kid once considered too small to play football who finally hits the big time.

Curry’s arrival was followed by the return of cornerback Ken Lucas, who agreed to re-sign with Seattle, the team that originally drafted him in 2001. Lucas played the previous four seasons for Carolina, which signed him as a free agent from the Seahawks in 2005.

Terms of Lucas’ contract were not announced, and his agent did not return phone messages. The Seahawks also signed fullback Justin Griffith to a one-year contract. Griffith played for Greg Knapp, Seattle’s new offensive coordinator, in Atlanta and Oakland.

Lucas, who has twice intercepted six passes in a season, will compete with Josh Wilson and Kelly Jennings for the starting cornerback position opposite Marcus Trufant. Griffith provides a proven fullback after the free-agent departure of Leonard Weaver.

While those two signings provide veteran seasoning, Curry is the high-profile rookie who had everyone’s attention as soon as he walked into the locker room.

“Somebody kept screaming out, ‘Nice suit,’ ” Curry said. “I was really enjoying it just knowing that they were relaxed.”

Curry was chosen out of Wake Forest by the Seahawks with the fourth overall pick – Seattle’s highest since taking Shawn Springs No. 3 overall in 1997. It is the highest a linebacker has been taken in the draft since 2000 when Washington picked LaVar Arrington with the second overall pick. You’ll have to pardon Curry for basking in the moment just a little bit because he still remembers all those times he was told he was too small for big-time football while growing up in North Carolina.

“I’m just a little kid from Fayetteville that nobody believed was big enough living out his dream,” Curry said. “And I’m just getting started.””