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Seahawks Draft Grade: Aaron Curry

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Aaron Curry

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Upside:

Scouts call Curry a once in a decade linebacker talent, so why only a "B"? The answer is in the question. Curry is a linebacker, and aside from rush linebackers, few, if any, can significantly impact their defense on their own. Ask Dick Butkus. Because of that, Curry is unlikely to be even as valuable as Chad Pennington. Ignoring position, Curry's upside is immense. Though Lofa Tatupu has an outside shot, Curry is the first Seahawk since Walter Jones to have a legitimate shot at Hall of Fame induction. He's that talented.

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Downside:

When the stakes are six years, $60 million including $26 million guaranteed (2008 fourth overall pick Darren McFadden's contract), downside actually trumps upside. Scouts excel at evaluating linebackers. Given a near-consensus that Curry is not only the best linebacker in a loaded linebacker class, but the best overall talent, Curry is true safest pick in the 2009 draft. He has avoided major injury, has minimal character concerns (suspended one game for missing class) and has no production or athleticism red flags. The downside for Curry is a solid starter that could contend for the Pro Bowl in his prime.

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Fit:

Jokes about the West Coast Defense aside, I don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Seattle is moving towards a Tampa 2-derived defense and needs fast, agile linebackers that can excel in coverage and stopping the run. That's Curry. Curry has scheme flexibility, and might grade highly for fit in most defenses, but for a Seahawks team desperately in need of another top cover linebacker to pair with Lofa Tatupu, Curry is a day-one starter that will upgrade an already stacked unit - from day one.

(Draft grades are important. Though too many either write in absolutes or exploit the fraidy-cat tactic of grading between winking admissions that "no one knows", it's important to put in words how I rate this draft, at the time of this draft and before the future gives the answers to us. It's only fair. There is a right and wrong method to drafting, no matter the very unpredictable outcome. Today I will rate each player by upside, downside and fit.)