Former No. 4 overall pick Aaron Curry retires at 27
We all know Mel Kiper and Todd McShay - ESPN's knowledgeable draftniks. Here's what they had to say about Curry back in 2009:
Kiper: "He's a complete OLB with great character and work ethic, which is why it was no surprise when he nailed his combine workout."
McShay: "Curry is the best defensive player in this year's draft."
Those two never expected that just four years from then, Curry would find himself cut loose by his third team and retired from the NFL - Curry announced his retirement on Wednesday.
Curry played in 35 games for the Seattle Seahawks, who drafted him fourth overall in that 2009 draft. The Seahawks eventually grew frustrated with the surprising weak link of their up-and-coming defense, and decided to ship him off to the defender-needy Oakland Raiders for a seventh-round pick.
As a Raiders fan, I actually liked Curry during his time with the team (of course, anyone who can tackle looks like a Hall of Famer to a Raiders fan). He was a solid presence in the run game and an energetic spark plug that often got the rest of the defense pumped up. His biggest pitfall, however, was his pass defense - Curry often looked like he had no idea what he was doing when dropping into coverage. A knee injury then derailed his 2012 campaign, and the Raiders let him walk after the season.
The New York Giants - who recently went through an overhaul at linebacker - picked up the draft bust to see if they could make use of him. Not even earning significant preseason snaps, the Giants cut him on August 25.
Curry admitted back in May that his $60 million rookie contract with $34 million in guarantees caused him to lose his motivation. It looks like Kiper was a bit misinformed on his "character and work ethic" evaluation. Situations like that hopefully will hopefully become less common with the new rookie wage scale (the fourth overall pick this year received a contract worth slightly less than $20 million).
Just 27 years old, Curry wraps up his career having played in 48 games with 39 starts over four seasons. He registered 5.5 sacks, no interceptions, four forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries. If he wants a silver lining to his career, he did score two touchdowns - not many linebackers can say that.