Curry to visit Lions on Sunday
The Lions have entertained two potential No. 1 draft picks already this week in Baylor offensive tackle Jason Smith and Georgia quarterback Matt Stafford. A third, Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry, is scheduled to drop in for dinner with coaches and medical updates on Sunday.
Curry is the consensus best defensive player in the draft and the Lions have a gaping hole at linebacker (two, actually). No linebacker has gone No. 1 overall since Aundray Bruce 21 years ago, but new Lions coach Jim Schwartz spoke glowingly of Curry on Tuesday.
You don't draft a linebacker early unless he's a three-down player, Schwartz said. Aaron has size, he has speed, he has athletic ability. He could fill a lot of different roles. He could be a 3-4 outside linebacker, he could be a SAM in a 4-3, he could be a MIKE in a 4-3. That's his strength is you could play him in a lot of different positions.
Curry said last month at the NFL combine that he only played middle linebacker a handful of times in practice. But Schwartz said it's not a stretch to think Curry could play that position full-time because of role in Wake Forest's nickel package and his ability to cover tight ends. Curry had four interceptions as a junior, three returned for touchdowns.
He's played the MIKE in nickel so that's really not a projection for him, Schwartz said. He's played a lot of different things. He plays an old-time SAM linebacker on the line of scrimmage, he plays it in space almost like a strong safety. In nickel he plays a MIKE linebacker. They use him in a lot of roles, so I think that player, he's definitely a multi-dimensional player.