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.

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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.””