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Tag:Aaron Curry
Posted on: April 17, 2009 2:42 pm
 

Lions Negotiating With 3 Players for #1 Pick

 

According to two independent sources, I've learned that the Detroit Lions are actively negotiating with the representatives for quarterback Matthew Stafford, Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith and outside linebacker Aaron Curry for the right to be the first player selected in the 2009 NFL draft.

It had been suggested by some that Matt Stafford was essentially already signed, but today's news proves that this is clearly not the case.

Stafford, however, remains the favorite to be the final selection, though there is increasing speculation that the Lions, like many other teams at the top of this year's draft, are beginning to favor the safer prospects of the draft, rather than riskier boom or bust propositions like quarterbacks Stafford, USC's Mark Sanchez, and Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree. 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: April 12, 2009 8:00 pm
 

Curry Among Green Room List

 

 Just got a text back from Wake Forest outside linebacker Aaron Curry. We've been conversing over the latest several days in preparation for the third part in a series of four articles detailing his "Road to the NFL."

In an earlier posting on the blog I mentioned that Curry had not, as of last Thursday, received an invitation to the NFL draft. He received it this weekend and plans to attend the event.

His excitement about the honor of being among those invited to Radio City Music Hall was obvious in his text:

"It's amazing to be at the place I've always dreamed to be... Every year I watch the draft and I was so happy and excited for the guys that were in New York and now I'll be there too." 

His story, which details what exactly transpires in a private workout and the 6 teams in which he's either worked out privately or traveled to recently, should be available this week.

Posted on: April 10, 2009 8:21 pm
 

NFL expanding "Green Room" To 10 Players

 

 According to a report by ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the NFL is going to invite at least 10 players this year to Radio City Music Hall for draft day. The number is nearly double that which the league has invited in recent years and is likely an attempt on the league's part to give the increasingly made-for-television-event a reality-TV appeal. The decision to invite more players was made to highlight especially intriguing players, including some who aren't necessarily expected to be within the top ten picks.

Among the players (listed alphabetically) expected to attend are:

WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech

OLB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest

OLB Brian Cushing, USC

QB Josh Freeman, Kansas State

OT Eugene Monroe, Virginia

OT Michael Oher, Mississippi

DE/OLB Brian Orakpo, Texas

OT Jason Smith, Baylor

QB Matthew Stafford, Georgia

Some notable names are missing on this list, not the least of which is USC quarterback Mark Sanchez (who, according to Mortensen's report is currently planning on spending the draft with friends and family), Alabama offensive tackle Andre Smith and Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Interestingly enough, I spoke with Aaron Curry yesterday in preparation for Part 3 of the four-part "Road to the Draft" we're doing and he had not yet been invited...

The most players I recall the NFL ever inviting to New York for the draft was 11, back in 1996. The 1996 draft was memorable for many reasons -- Keyshawn Johnson was the last wide receiver selected with the top pick and no linebacker has been selected as high since the Jaguars made former Illinois standout Kevin Hardy the second overall pick. The 1996 draft was also memorable in that it featured the only player invited to NYC by the league that slipped entirely out of the first round.  The Cardinals made running back Leeland McElroy the second pick of the second round (32nd overall).

Posted on: March 25, 2009 6:05 pm
 

Orakpo solidifies top 10 status with Pro Day

 

 Texas' Brian Orakpo had to be characterized as a defensive end until today. Though many have projected him as an outside linebacker and he played the position a bit while with the Longhorns, he had been unable to workout as a linebacker in drills due to a pulled hamstring at the Combine.

At Wednesday's Pro Day, however, he ended all speculation about his explosiveness and ability to change directions, impressing Green Bay Packers' GM Ted Thompson and an estimated 50 other league representatives at the University of Texas.

Due to the fact that he ran many of the drills at the Combine, Orakpo elected only to do the ones scouts hadn't seen -- and perform in linebacker drills. Orakpo's 10'10" broad jump showed spectacular explosiveness. His effort would have eclipsed the numbers put forth by any defensive line or linebacker prospect in Indianapolis, including outside linebacker Aaron Curry and defensive tackle BJ Raji, the other front seven defenders expected to complete for top ten honors. Orakpo also put forth respectable times of 4.43 seconds in the 20 yard shuttle and 7.25 in the 3-cone. His times in these drills rank among the best put forth by the defensive ends and linebackers at the Combine. According to scouts attending the workout, Orakpo was even better in the actual linebacker drills, showing better agility in space than expected.

Orakpo was far and away the biggest name at the Texas Pro Day, as the 2009 class is a relatively weak one for the Longhorns. Still,  one late round diamond in the rough prospect also helped his cause with his work today.

Wide receiver Quan Cosby may be shorter (5085) and older (26) than scouts would like, but his flair for the dramatic (ask Ohio State), explosiveness (34.5" vertical) and strength (28 reps today) are certain to impress scouts. I love his size, toughness, intelligence and sticky hands as a late round slot receiver.

Thompson was one of the few "big name" general managers or coaches at the event due to the fact that many of the top league personnel are at the owners' meetings in California. Orakpo would certainly fit in nicely as a pass rushing OLB in the 3-4 defense that the Packers are implementing this year, but with his workout Wednesday, Orakpo is becoming increasingly unlikely to be available at #9. Many are projecting him to the Cleveland Browns with the 5th pick and it is becoming clear that the lowest he'll go on draft day is to the Packers at #9 or 49ers at #10.

I'll be catching up with Brian and his impressions of the Pro Day experience soon as we continue NFLDraftScout.com's 4-part journey with him in the Road to the Draft series. You can read Parts One and Two below.

Part One: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/
story/11408107

Part Two: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/
story/11515045

 

Posted on: March 23, 2009 7:20 pm
 

Wake Forest Pro Day

 

 All 32 teams were represented at Monday's Pro Day, though the two Demon Deacon headliners -- LB Aaron Curry and CB Alphonso Smith -- chose to stand on their Combine performances and only did positional drills.

Curry electing not to workout wasn't a surprise, as he was arguably the most impressive athlete in Indianapolis. According to those in attendance, Curry was impressive, as expected, in linebacker drills.

Alphonso Smith, on the other, hand surprised some scouts who thought he'd try to prove faster than the pair of electronically timed 4.57s he ran at the Combine. Smith is an established ballhawk, who leaves Wake Forest as the ACC's career leader with 21 interceptions, but the combination of question speed and Smith's height (5-9 exactly) is likely to be enough to push him right out of the first round.

I'm still waiting from some of the scouts who attended the workout to fill me in the details of the other players that worked out Monday. While Curry and Smith are unquestionably the two highest rated players representing Wake Forest, there are several other sleeper candidates to keep an eye on, including inside linebacker Stanley Arnoux, safety Chip Vaughn and receiver DJ Boldin, whose older brother is Arizona standout, Anquan Boldin.

Though I hope to provide more details from the workout earlier, the most intimate details from the Pro Day will come in the next installment of the four-part series I'm writing detailing Aaron Curry's Road to the Draft. I will be interviewing Curry this week on his Pro Day experience and what he is looking forward to the most with his several upcoming private workouts.

 

You can read Part One and Two by copying and pasting the following URLs into your browser.

Part One (Curry's training and preparation for the Combine) here: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/
story/11399393

Part Two (Curry's post-combine thoughts and prep for the Pro Day) here: http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/
story/11487766

Posted on: March 1, 2009 12:48 pm
 

Patriots preferred 2nd over 1st for Cassel?

 

Much is being made of the fact that the Patriots accepted only a second round pick, albeit the 34th overall, for quarterback Matt Cassel and versatile, veteran linebacker Mike Vrabel. Many are justifiably wondering why the Patriots were unable to wrestle away a first round pick for Cassel, especially considering Vrabel's added value. Some league insiders suggested that perhaps the Patriots valued the Chiefs' second round pick (34th overall) to their first (3rd overall).

While this initially sounds crazy -- How could they not WANT the higher pick? -- it fits with the philosophy in which the Patriots have built their dynasty. Re-stocking through "lower" picks, rather than investing tens of millions of dollars into unproven rookies.

Certainly there was talent likely to be available at #3 that would have helped New England... Aaron Curry could have stepped in at linebacker, Jason Smith or Eugene Monroe could have solidified the offensive line...

Considering the draft value (and more importantly, the cap value) of the players likely to be available at #34, however, the Patriots are in position to address their greatest areas of concern -- outside linebacker and cornerback -- at a point of supreme value, as the most teams' boards are already shaping up, there will be a run on outside linebackers and cornerbacks to end the first round and begin the second...

The tens of millions of dollars difference it will take in signing a Clint Sintim, Paul Kruger, or D.J. Moore at the top of the second rather than Curry, Smith, or Monroe at the top is one of the many reasons the Patriots continue to operate as trend-setters in the NFL.

(It is also further evidence of just how ridiculous and prohibitive the cost of high first round picks have become...)

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com