Vinny Curry DL/OLB Marshal.
4.98 40 (6.9 3 cone, combine top performer)
To me, Vinny Curry is the perfect example of the draft being a popularity contest. In my opinion, he is best defensive prospect in the 2012 class. I come to this conclusion because of his non stop motor, work ethic, and not only his production, but his versatility. Curry has the potential be either a top notch defensive end in a 4-3 system or a great OLB in a 3-4 system.
Curry was the 2011 Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year and was in the running for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy ( the nation’s best defensive player), the Chuck Bednarik Awards ( the nation’s best defensive player) and the Rotary Lombardi Awards (the nation’s best lineman) and he ranks second nationally with 21.5 tackles for loss.
He was tied for third with (6) forced fumbles and is sixth with (11.0) sacks in 2011 (he had 12 sacks in 2010). He is also tied for second on the NCAA’s active list for career tackles for loss, (48.0) and career sacks (26.5). Curry is also tied for seventh for career forced fumbles with (9). Curry had a solid showing at the senior bowl and he logged 6 more sacks over the last 2 yrs than Coples. He also led him in tackles for loss and quarterback hurries.
Curry possesses the ideal size, strength, speed and athleticism coveted by NFL teams. Curry is very quick off of the ball when he is rushing the passer. He is a solid tackler and understands how to set up his moves to elude the blocker, and get in to the back field when pass rushing. He shows amazing ability to finish the play and get to the QB once he enters the backfield. He is reliable at making the tackle against QB’s and RB’s alike. (unlike Coples) He has a non stop motor and always plays through the whistle. He tends to struggle a bit with his read and react on run plays when they are not directed directly his way, but that can be remedied by good coaching at the next level.
Currently Curry is projected to go in the 2nd round. I would take him over Coples any day of the week. The value in the 2nd round, makes him even a more attractive prospect. The fact that there are no questions about his motor makes this a no-brainer.