Has a quick first step that can challenge the edge. Shows nice bend and knows how to dip the shoulder in order to turn the corner, and has good closing burst off the edge to deliver hit to the quarterback. Can use an inside counter move when he sets up tackles with his first step. Flashes potential as a bull rusher off the edge with nice straight-line speed, able to get his hands inside and show some leg drive to work tackle into the pocket. Can get leverage at the point of attack, particularly against the tight end, shed the block and make the stop. Shows some ability to make plays laterally against the run. Able to get upfield and cut off the outside run. Shows some ability to drop and play in space with good straight-line speed. Can close on the ballcarrier in the flat and make the hit.
Doesn't always play with great concentration, being late reacting to the snap or lining up in the neutral zone to draw a penalty. Doesn't play with great recognition. His motor isn't always going full bore, especially if he's being double teamed. Tends to get overextended and lose balance as a pass rusher. Tends to stumble and get too low at times when trying to dip to turn the corner, as he winds up on the ground. Is not a guy that you want trying to hold up at the point of attack, getting pushed off the ball at times and doesn't do a great job getting off blocks.
Curry is a fairly polished collegiate pass rusher that didn't face the best collegiate tackles but dominated the ones he did see. That's something you want to see out of pass rushers that play in conferences like the MAC and Conference USA. He has very good potential, but there are some issues he'll have to overcome, and he might not work in every scheme. His poor recognition, lack of size, and the fact that he's not the most cerebral player don't bode well for him. He has the potential to play in space, but is a bit more natural and pro-ready playing with his hand on the ground. He is the type of player that is tailor-made for schemes that don't mind undersized ends and want them to get upfield as much as possible, rather than ones that will ask him to play the run and have to win from the neck up.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/4) at West Virginia: 3 pressures, 2 QB hits
(12/20) vs. FIU: 1 stuff, 4 pressures, 1 QB hit, 1 FF, 1 key blocked; 1 penalty (offsides)
2011: 13 GP/13 GS, 77 tackles, 22.0 TFLs, 11.0 sacks, 0 INTs, 1 PD, 7 FF, 1 FR; 3 blocked kicks, 1 safety
If Curry was to go to a team like the Eagles or any of the teams that employ the "Wide-9" defensive schemes, I think he would be very good, and fairly quickly. He's a guy that you just want to pin his ears back and get upfield. All the other stuff that comes with playing the end, such as gap responsibilities, contain, getting leverage, playing with good recognition aren't really what he's good at. And it's sort of the classic boom/bust scenario. If he gets drafted by a team that is really looking for him to do those sorts of things, then it increases the likelihood he is a disappointment. He can get better in those areas, but I don't think it'll ever be to a degree where he's good. And because of that, the best situation for him int he pros is going to a team that will bring him alongside slowly and will probably use him as a situational rusher early on and hope he develops a more well-rounded aspect to his game down the road. I think he can play in a 3-4 because of his burst and speed, but he's never going to be a great run defender nor will he ever be more than tolerable in coverage. He will earn his paychecks by getting after the quarterback. The player I would compare him to because they have a very similar frame and playing style is Brian Orakpo. Orakpo came into the league right away and produced as a pass rusher, but has always been marginal at best when it comes to defending the run or working in coverage. But you won't hear anybody really complain because he's had 28.5 sacks in 3 seasons in the pros. I think Curry has the potential to be the same. I don't know if he'll have quite as huge an impact as Orakpo did as a rookie, but I do think he can come in and be more productive than your average rookie end. But again like it was with the Redskins, only in an environment where his pass rushing skills are prioritized.
Brian Orakpo, Redskins.
Curry could work in Atlanta if used properly. As a rookie, he can be an effective situational rusher because his speed is potentially second only to Abraham. And if he takes to a year or two of tutelage under Abraham, he can really start to develop an array of moves. Ideally Curry is going to be used similarly to how Mike Nolan used Cameron Wake and Elvis Dumervil in previous stops, which is as a pass rusher, and damn the rest. He unlike any other end currently on the Falcons roster has the upside to replace Abraham and be an impact pass rusher for years to come. The key will be more about surrounding him with smart, disciplined players that can offset some of his issues as a run defender and cover guy. As a rookie in a 4-3, if used in a similar fashion as Sidbury a year ago, I think he could give this team 3-5 sacks off the bench. In time, he can start to get more reps, and potentially develop into an 8-12 sack guy similar to Orakpo.
Curry's upside as a pass rusher means that he's worth a first round pick, albeit a late one. The fact that he's probably never going to be a true everydown player coupled with the idea that he won't fit/excel everywhere means that he's probably a safer pick in the early portion of the second.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Pass Rush: 8.0
Point of Attack: 4.0
Scouting reports of the defensive ends in the 2012 Draft.
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