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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Aaron Curry Could Still Go #1

Aaron Curry is playing this draft thing smart. Which isn't surprising, seeing how smart he plays on the field. As the Lions continue to negotiate with Georgia QB Matt Stafford, Curry keeps his name and ability fresh in the minds of the Detroit franchise. He also mentioned that he would take less money than last year's number 1 overall pick, Jack Long.

On Pat Kirwan's Sirius radio show, Aaron Curry just happened to mention that he would be willing to do a pre-draft deal worth less than the $57.5 million ($30 million guaranteed) that the Miami Dolphins structured with Long, the offensive tackle from the University of Michigan. Why would Curry put himself in a position to make less money as the number 1 overall pick? He can already predict success in Detroit.

The thought of lining up with linebackers Julian Peterson and Ernie Sims was a positive scenario in Curry's mind. The Lions could re-think this pick if negotiations with Stafford come to a stand still. The Lions fans would probably be more excited and comfortable with them drafting a talented and explosive linebacker like Curry. So many rookie QBs have problems adjusting to the NFL and, as they say, defense wins championships. Having a pass rusher like Curry would provide the Lions a solid linebacker corp and their very own Ray Lewis, or Patrick Willis. Heck, he could be their very own Brian Urlacher who plays for their division rival, the Chicago Bears.

If Stafford does not get a deal done with Detroit and Curry becomes the pick, Stafford could fall pretty far from the number 1 overall spot. Mark Sanchez, QB from USC, is rising up the chart faster than anyone saw happening. Many mock drafters have him at the 4th pick now, going to the Seattle Seahawks. If Stafford does a "Lienart" and fall from the top 5, he could go as low as 10th or even near the end of the first round; reminiscent of QB Aaron Rogers who fell to 24th overall in the 2005 draft.

Basically, the pressure is on Stafford to get a deal done. He doesn't have the luxury of playing hard ball with Detroit because Detroit holds all of the cards. Curry's statements have given Detroit another option that may provide more of an upside than drafting Stafford. Curry will play right away and could bring instant production. Stafford, although appearing ready for the next level, will take some grooming before he can really contribute to the offense.

Curry's willingness to "take one for the team" and take less money, highlights his character. He's not even drafted yet, but he's willing to do what is best for the Detroit Lions. Detroit is also being smart in this decision. Tom Kowalski of reports that they already have a deal in place with Curry. If Stafford's deal isn't in place by Friday, Aaron Curry will be the number 1 pick in the 2009 draft.

The absolute clincher in all of this? Detroit also has the 20th pick in this year's draft. There is a possibility that they could draft Curry with the top pick and watch Stafford fall down the draft board. If the Lions could manage to draft both Curry and Stafford, it would be one of the best first rounds for a team in recent memory. After becoming the first team to go 0-16 in NFL history, I'd say they are due for a few good bounces to go their way.

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