Curry is an explosive athlete who could be moved around depending on the type of defensive scheme of the team who selects him. Some may stand him up and have him play outside linebacker in a 3-4 where he can focus on purely rushing the quarterback each play.
In the run game, he is effective and can set the edge nicely against an offensive tackle, but has a difficult time getting to the ball if he is engaged upon early. Curry has second-round value based off his athletic ability and sack production the past two years.
Once he gets a lane, he shows an amazing burst to finish the play and get to the quarterback. On run plays and against quarterbacks alike he is reliable once to the ball and can be explosive when meeting a ball carrier.
He has polished technique at the position and uses his hand well to keep blockers at bay. Although he gives up size to NFL-caliber offensive linemen, he is able to hold his ground and set the edge when necessary to allow his linebackers to make plays. His natural athletic ability is evident and the key to every play that he makes.
If the play does not come to him right away from his quickness and ability, he has yet to show that he has the instincts to react and be involved late in the play once it is already away from him."
After a strong high school career, Curry went to Harmony Community School in Cincinnati to prep for college; he earned team MVP honors at Neptune High in 2006 and Harmony in 2007. He played only seven games as a true freshman (nine tackles), but showed real promise as an honorable-mention All-Conference USA starter in 2009 (59 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks).
Despite his sack numbers, Curry lacks the bend and elite quickness to be a Pro Bowl blind-side pass rusher. He is more likely to add weight at the next level so he can play strong-side end or possibly even a five-technique if a 3-4 team projects him to be capable there. In any case, Curry's ability to work through blockers to the quarterback, hustle to the ball and strength at the point of attack gives him a chance to be an impact starter sooner than later.
Pass Rush: Relentless and strong off the edge as a pass rusher when fresh. Gets under the pads of tackles to bull rush them into the backfield. Gives second and third effort to reach the passer. Uses his hands to swim past linemen. Struggles to beat cut blocks with his hands. Inconsistent get-off, stands straight up into his blocker and does not shed later in games. Plays a bit out of control, loses his balance when trying to shake tackles. Challenge interior linemen with quickness and strong hands when lined up inside.
Run Defense: Chase defender outside, has good closing speed and hustle to get to ballcarriers running to or away from him. Works through multiple blockers to get to the ball, or at least force plays to other defenders. May take a false step inside on zone reads, but generally stays at home to keep containment.
Explosion: Usually comes off the snap in a hurry and very strong from either side of the formation. May not beat NFL tackles as a pure speed rusher, but will challenge their upfield shoulder. Quick enough to take inside lane if tackle guesses on speed rush. His initial quickness lets up later in games.
Strength: Plays with intensity and a nice anchor even when giving up 40-50 pounds against most blockers. Shows pop as a bull rusher. Stands up well against the run when lined up at five-technique, but must prove he has the bulk and strength to handle NFL linemen one-on-one or double-teams before moving inside.
Tackling: Possesses NFL-caliber length and strength as a tackler. Makes backside plays with regularity when zone schemes leave him unblocked. Gives great effort, following the ball to either sideline no matter where he is lined up. Adds himself to piles as the third or fourth defender. Spins off piles inside and finds the ballcarrier to drag him down.
Intangibles: Team leader, younger players look up to him. Positive attitude in the locker room, works well with the media. Hustle on the field reflects work ethic off the field. No major off-field incidents. Could have entered the draft in 2011 as a potential top 100 pick, chose to return to "win a championship"."
However, for the most part gets off the snap in time, stays low initially out of his stance and extends his arms well. Possesses slightly above average burst toward the edge and exhibits some natural flexibility dropping his pad level around the corner. However, isn't the kind of speed rusher who can win with his first step/closing burst alone.
Does a nice job playing as a power player. Extends his arms well, can rock tackles initially on contact and exhibits some suddenness to create space off his initial jolt slipping the block and closing while dipping around the corner. Uses his hands well at times and likes to work the arm over and rip once he gains a step to free himself.
Also, exhibits some natural coordination and change of directions skills to side step a block once he gets to the edge and work his way back inside.
However, has a tendency to allow his pad level to pop upright if he doesn't initially keep himself clean. His hand placement is a bit inconsistent at times which allows defenders to stick to him even once he gains a step and push him past the play because of his pad level.
Is clever and sudden, but doesn't look like a real dynamic athlete to me in any area of the game. Is a solid power player with a solid get off and above average change of direction skills, but isn't dynamic in any area which limits his upside as a pass rusher.
Showcases some natural power and burst off the ball vs. the run game. Can be explosive as a run defender, keeping his pad level down and working his way across the face of defenders and into the backfield. However, when he gets engaged, again will raise his pad level through contact and can be overwhelmed.
Works his hands well in order to fight his way clean and is a good enough athlete to slip the block and close on the football. Showcases good initial quicks for his size and solid range in pursuit.
Impression: A strong kid with good movement skills and the production to go along with the skill set. Isn't a dynamic athlete but has the ability to keep tackles off balance and be a solid pass rushing force."
Strong wrap tackler.
Emotional makeup — has a revved-up motor on the field and can overheat off the field if not handled properly.
Tires quickly — is stronger and more explosive when battery is charged.
Lacks elite flexibility and top-end speed, needs to develop his counter moves and will have to prove his mettle against more talented tackles.
However, he has the tools to be an effective 4-3 edge rusher if paired with a patient, nurturing position coach."
His ability to keep low and flatten out makes him a major pass rushing threat. He not only possesses good quickness but also good balance. His balance allows him to quickly change direction while working his way towards the football. Curry is a hard worker and is always hustling to the football. Size and position will be the biggest questions surrounding Curry. At 242lbs, Curry is undersized for the defensive end position.
However, his 6-5 frame leaves the possibility of adding more weight and bulk. With the size concerns comes the question about what position he will play. Curry appears to have the fluidity to make a move to linebacker but his skills would be better suited at defensive end. In the running game, Curry looks to avoid blocks rather than stacking and shedding.
Overall, Curry has a lot of potential as someone that can get into backfield and create pressure. He could really solidify his draft stock if he adds some bulk and improves his play against the run. Any team looking to create pressure will no doubt look Curry's way.
Bold Statement: Curry will rise up draft boards as the season progress and then again after the combine
Games Viewed: Ohio State ('10), West Virginia ('10)
- Curry has a nice build and the frame to add some more bulk
- He will need to add more bulk if he hopes to stick at defensive end
- Curry has good quickness off the football
- His 2nd gear allows him to flatten out around the edge
- He keeps his pads low which also helps him dip and turn the corner
- His ability to quickly change direction allows him to shoot the gap and get back around to pursue
- Curry uses his suddenness to avoid blocks and create pressure
- He has quick hands which allow him to keep clean
- His motor and effort are major factors in his ability to create pressure and pursue
- Curry is a playmaker and very disruptive
- He needs to improve his ability to hold at the point and stuff the run
- Curry can create pressure but relies to heavily on his speed and needs to develop more moves"
Rangy player with long arms and an effective swim move; has a quick first step and closing speed in the 4.7 range; also has good balance and the ability to dip his shoulder and force his way around the corner;
Also very good against the run and had 94 tackles last fall, a huge total for a down defensive lineman; high-motor player who brings it on every down."
Keeps himself clean with quick hands, generally stays low to get under the pads of tackles and work through blockers; is a good power player with very good natural strength at the point of attack, extends his arms well to engage the blocker and deliver a jolt...
Plays with good balance, can quickly change direction to avoid and side-step blocks to shoot gaps and create pressure...
Does a nice job setting the edge and maintaining containment, has the strength to anchor, despite 242 lb. frame, and can fight clean and work his way through multiple linemen to be a factor against the run, has good range and can make plays in pursuit...
Very good wrap-up tackler, tackling numbers over the past two seasons are on the high end for a defensive end... Is a hard worker with a non-stop motor and is always hustling; plus intangibles, team captain, would have been a Top 75 pick in the 2011 Draft but chose to return to school to "win a championship"...
Has the fluidity and skill-set to transition to rush OLB and stand up in a 3-4, or could add weight and bulk to his 6'5" frame to play RDE in a 4-3, has good potential to get into the backfield and create pressure and pursue, regardless of scheme.
Negatives -- Doesn't have the bend, elite quickness or top-end speed to play anything but RDE in a 4-3, and would need to add some weight to play with his hand in the dirt full-time in a four-man front, or would need some time to adapt to standing up in a 3-4...
Relies too much on speed at the collegiate level and needs to develop more moves, won't beat NFL tackles consistently with speed and lacks the counter moves to turn to when the speed rush is handled... Can wear down as the game progresses including inconsistent get-off, tires quickly...
Pad level will rise once engaged, gets too upright and linemen can get underneath him, can be pushed past the play if he doesn't maintain good pad level...
Might have trouble holding the point against NFL lineman, added bulk would improve his play versus the run, only flashes his ability against the run, too often looks to avoid blocks by running around them... Lack of competition playing in Conference USA."
He displays a very good array of pass rushing moves. Whether he is ripping offensive tackles to the ground or shoving them back into the quarterback, he does a great job consistently getting after the quarterback (especially if the pocket collapses).
Curry will need to improve his technique on running plays that attack his side of the field. He is sometimes too caught up in attacking the quarterback that he'll either take himself out of position or a well-timed double team will severely compromise his gap assignment."