Can Aaron Curry find new life in Oakland?

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson (L) is sacked by Seattle Seahawks Aaron Curry (R) during the first quarter of their game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ November 14,2010. UPI/Art Foxall

Everyone assumed Aaron Curry was a can’t miss prospect when he was drafted #4 overall in the 2009 NFL Draft, but so far he’s been a bust. He wasn’t even starting in Seattle when they traded him to the Oakland Raiders this week.

Now he’s the starter in Oakland:

Three days ago Aaron Curry was a backup strongside linebacker in Seattle. Now he’s preparing to start at the weakside for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Curry’s prospects took a sudden turn Friday when coach Hue Jackson announced that the first-round pick in the 2009 draft will replace Quentin Groves in the Raiders’ starting defense at home against the Cleveland Browns. Groves has been a starter since signing with Oakland before last season.

I’m a little surprised here, so we’ll see if Jackson is making the right call. I wonder how guys in the locker room will feel about a starter losing his job to another guy before one practice.

I was listening to the NFL Network with week, and Gil Brandt basically called out Aaron Curry as a player who doesn’t give you maximum effort. Brandt explained you can get away with that at certain positions, but at the linebacker spot it was essential that you had guys with high motors who gave you everything they had.

Many players have revived their careers in Oakland under the legendary Al Davis. That said, the Raiders have brought over plenty of veterans who did nothing. Let’s see what happens to Curry.

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Athlete Profile: Aaron Curry

Aaron Curry, a 6-2, 250-lb linebacker out of Wake Forest University, has parlayed his physical tools, a great senior season and an eye-opening combine workout to make himself the can’t-miss pick in April’s upcoming NFL draft.

What a difference two years makes.

Back in 2007, Curry returned to Fayetteville, N.C. after a season that saw him finish second in team tackles with 83, only to find out that his mom, Chris, had been evicted from their family home.

After telling his family story during last week’s scouting combine, NFL teams know now that in addition to all of his football skills, Curry is a resilient and family-oriented young man. He says that his no. 1 priority after signing his pro contract is to buy a house for his mom.

Curry’s physical tools are astounding. He’s bulked up to a formidable 250 pounds after weighing under 200 coming out of high school (a big reason why he only received scholarship offers from Wake Forest and East Carolina University – he picked Wake for its academics). He’s a playmaker as much as he is a consistent run-stopping force. During his junior year, he returned three interceptions for touchdowns, bringing back the picks for a school-record of 226 total yards.

In a “three questions” interview with’s Kevin Seifert, Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz (the man helping to decide who the Lions will pick with the draft’s no. 1 overall pick) described Curry’s unique skill set.

Read the rest after the jump...

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