You can't knock a team for picking the best rated player in the entire draft. Linebacker is not a building block position, but there's more to selecting a pick than getting the most valuable player. Curry has very little chance to bust and that's huge. He not only has very little chance to bust, he has an excellent chance to be a perennial All-Pro. Seattle wants to assemble a great defense, and is oddly doing it from the linebacker out.
Here's the really exciting thing about Curry, he's an incredible fit with what Seattle already has. He's the tall, fast coverage linebacker Hill could never be and Peterson no longer was. He won't have to rush the quarterback in Seattle, that's Hill's job. Should he develop he has that kind of shutdown coverage capability no linebacker has ever had.
Seattle selected the best overall talent, and though I'm not fond of selecting a linebacker so early, it just puts that much more pressure on Seattle adding those building block players throughout the draft. With mixed feelings, but still some excitement, I will say this for sure: Seattle fans will not regret Seattle drafting Aaron Curry, and as the seasons pass and he asserts himself as one of the best linebackers in the NFL, he will be beloved and maybe even legendary. Now, will the team be any good?
Here's my take on Curry:
Positives: He's the best prospect in the draft. Curry is the consensus best linebacker in a strong linebacker class. If he were a running back, his Speed Score would compare to Ronnie Brown. He was productive at Wake Forest, performed well in individual drills at the combine, gives a good interview, is terrifically athletic and punches every criterion one could want in a prospect. If Seattle selects him they will have effectively escaped the loser's curse, drafting a safe prospect with exceptional talent that should contribute for the life of his contract. Curry might be modestly overpaid, but short of calamity, that's about as bad as I can see things working out for the team that drafts Curry.
Negatives: The history of first in class linebackers is not sterling. Excepting rush linebackers, a position so apart it might as well be defensive end, the best first in class linebacker in recent history is Patrick Willis. The 49ers defense barely budged his rookie season, and though after five consecutive seasons of dismal play it moved towards mediocre in 2008, that could be Willis, Nate Clements, Justin Smith, Takeo Spikes, the ouster of Mike Nolan, the ouster of Alex Smith and JT O'Sullivan, the appointment of Mike Singletary, all of the above, regression towards the mean, or all the above. However you slice it, Willis has not been transformative in the way Albert Haynesworth, DeMarcus Ware or Jared Allen have been.