Aaron Curry: Safe at Home

We're not in the habit of link-dumping at Field Gulls, and I'm not going to start here. I'm simply going to point out that I was fortunate enough to interview Aaron Curry last week for a Washington Post feature, that he is everything people say he is from a personality and character standpoint, and that he is a very, VERY special player who could dominate at the NFL level in different schemes and positions. It's not often that the best player in a draft at the time of a draft (which I believe he is) could very well be the best of that draft class five years down the road, but I think we're dealing with just that type of cat in this case.

Why? Because there isn't much he can't do, and his skills can fit somewhere in just about any defensive system. I have jokingly referred to Curry as "Leroy Hill with Pass Coverage 2.0 installed", which is really a discredit to Hill's downhill defense and to Curry's ability to play in space. While Hill is a great forward-motion player who has learned through painstaking work how to backpedal and get things done functionally in short areas, Curry is just as agile as he is destructive.

It's an almost unprecedented combination. We're not talking about the Ray Lewis version of coverage, which is "back up a few yards and catch the deflected ball," we're talking about honest-to-God pass coverage. As in, I meant to be there, I read the play, and I made the play:

 

What you don't generally get with that kind of speed in reverse, is a guy who can also do things like this:

 
And, the big highlight video here:

 

As I point out in the linked article, there are different kinds of "safe picks". Generally, safe players are the ones whose projections don't outstrip their production -- based on system, talent, intelligence, what have you. Lofa Tatupu was a safe pick because he was a second-round selection who had displayed a preternatural ability to read opposing offenses and play above his height and weight with a pro-style college team. He was only a "reach" to the people who were blinded by measurables. Now, he's one of the names brought up whenever measurables are overemphasized.

Aaron Curry is not that type of safe pick. Aaron Curry is a safe pick in that wherever he's drafted and wherever they put him, he's going to dominate. I've seen him cause an interception as a rush end in a 3-4 look, decimate running backs as the SAM in a 4-3 base, and trail fast tight ends with near-safety speed. Put simply, wherever you place him, he's going to shine. And if the Seahawks are lucky enough to have him on the board after Kansas City, Seattle's representative should bust a hamstring, Rich Eisen-style, getting the card with Curry's name on it to the Commish. I want an elite offensive tackle for the Seahawks more than anyone, but Aaron Curry is the best player in this draft, and I don't think it's even close.

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