Vinny Curry opened some eyes yesterday and boosted his draft stock with his strong performance in the Senior Bowl. I see a lot of people down on Ingram and Upshaw right now. Ingram made a few plays and Upshaw had a sack, but the coaches and most of the scouts leave on the last day of practices for a reason.
The actual Senior Bowl game doesn't hold as much clout as the drills and practices do. That is why more often than not, that a offensive player is the games MVP.
But that doesn't take away anything from what Vinny Curry did yesterday. Before this game, I had put a 3rd-4th round grade on the Marshall defensive standout. His performance today, should put him in the 2nd round. If he has a good combine, we could see a team picking late in the first round take a stab at him. If he doesn't have the athletic numbers at the combine, then I would slot him in the 2-4 round range.
Previously I mentioned that the Giants would probably be a team interested in Curry. He has the size (6'3 265) and strength to be a good fit in the 4-3 defense as a defensive end. Curry is also from Neptune, New Jersey and the Giants do like the local kids. Vinny Curry also has the size, strength, and pass rushing ability to play as a 3-4 OLB. He will be getting looked at by both 3-4 and 4-3 teams.
I must admit I was pretty intrigued by Curry in the Senior Bowl. I think I saw one Marshall game this year and Curry played pretty well. The problem is that I don't get too many Marshall games. This is why I love Senior Bowl week and the combine. It finally gives me the opportunity to see these prospects showcase their talents.
So I typed in Vinny Curry on Google. This poor kid Vinny Curry is next to Vinny from the Jersey Shore on Google searches. I am looking for the cool Vinny, not the alcoholic kid who dresses like a square and "smushes" grenades on a nightly basis. Apparently, Vinny and Vinny Curry are both from Jersey. But I don't think you will see these two "youts" (My Cousin Vinny joke) fist bumping and "Jersey Turnpiking" all night long anytime soon.
Okay, so enough of the Jersey Shore and My Cousin Vinny jokes. Sorry guys, I couldn't help myself.
Vinny Curry DE/OLB Marshall
So on my search to become more enlightened about our buddy Vinny from Jersey here, I found some interesting stuff.
- All Conference USA First Team
- Conference USA Defensive Player Of The Year
- Team Captain
- Mid Season All American
- NCAA active leader in tackles for loss with 48
- 26.5 career sacks
- 23 sacks the last two years
- 21.5 tackles for loss in 2011 (ranked 2nd nationally)
- 2011- 77 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 11 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, 3 blocked extra points, 1 safety
- 2010- 94 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 12 sacks
- 2009- 59 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks
- Nominated for Bronco Nagurski, Chuck Bednarik, and the Rotary Lombardi awards
- Vinny's mother Linda "Cissy" Jackson passed away earlier in the season from cancer. After attending to the services for her, Vinny comes back to Marshall to face Rice University. Curry goes out and honors his mother with a great game. 9 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, a forced fumble, and a recovered fumble.
Here are some comments from Vinny down at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama
This week, he wants to show NFL scouts that he is ready to realize his dream.
"It's a great opportunity," he said. "I'm excited to be here among some of the greats of college football, a game that we all love to play. I'm a very passionate guy. That's my personality. I love this type of environment and I just love to play football, so when you're among people who love to play football, it's fun to be out there.
"I'm very confident and I'm very ambitious. I can't wait to learn new things, especially from the team that picks me (in the draft). I want to learn everything I can. I want to be a sponge and just soak up everything that I can."
Along the way, he wants to demonstrate that he belongs here and on an NFL roster.
"Coming from a small school, not a BCS conference school, I just want to enjoy the week, do what I do and continue to keep my motor going and go out there and have fun," Curry said. "I don't want to play with too much pressure and just go out and play my game."
Here are some comments for Vinny down in Mobile, Alabama again.
Courtesy of http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/201201260224
"Every play, every down is a job interview," Curry said. "Everybody we go against is good. It's the best all of the time. This is basically like the Pro Bowl for college players."
"I'm just trying to be the same guy I was at Marshall," Curry said. "The same Vinny with a smile on his face. Trying to make plays and make people proud."
Then what some of the draft wizards had to say about Curry down at the Senior Bowl.
Courtesy of http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/201201260224
- Vic Ketchman, packers.com editor - "A day after leaping to prominence by darting into the backfield and forcing a fumble, the undersized pass rusher was the star of the day in the North squad's practice for Saturday's Senior Bowl game. Following the morning session, Curry was surrounded by scouts seeking personal information.
- "He was quick, elusive, forceful and disruptive. He looked every part of a playmaker. Curry was the best of the tweeners in a Senior Bowl that is loaded with tweeners on both teams' rosters."
- Tony Pauline, SI.com draft analyst - "Very athletic, very quick, natural pass rusher. Quick change of direction. Has all the attributes to make the change to outside linebacker in a 3-4."
- New York Times NFL Blog - "Curry showed his quick burst off the edge and ability to penetrate against the run against top competition. There are still blemishes in his game, but he'll have many teams taking a second look at his tape."
- Mike Mayock, NFL Network - "I like Vinny Curry. He plays with a great motor, great leverage. He gets up the field. He's quick. I think he's probably a second-round pick."
He did a Q&A recently and I liked some of his answers, check this out.
Q: What have you thought about the experience of working with NFL coaches?
A: I love it. I love getting coached, and I like learning new things. I'm just very excited.
Q: And in interviews, what do you highlight about yourself?
A: I'm a guy who loves the game. A guy who plays with phenomenal passion, and a guy who makes plays.
Q: You've been very productive, both in terms of sacks and tackles. Why is that?
A: Teams schemed for me, so I tried to elevate my game with seven forced fumbles. I'm just a hard worker, and I play with as much passion as I can. I love playing at Marshall. I love being a part of the Herd. I wanted to bring them a conference championship. But at least we brought them a bowl championship.
Okay so that is a lot to filter through. Let me start off with saying I admire how Curry played through major adversity this year. I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to go out and play a game after losing your mother. That right there tells me this kid can play through anything. He has thick skin and can channel his emotion the right way. We need more warriors on this team and Curry looks like he will be a warrior on the field.
Vinny Curry has performed at a very high level and was a huge producer for Marshall. The one problem I have with Curry is his level of competition. Marshall doesn't play in a big time conference loaded with NFL talent. Conference USA isn't exactly the SEC, but Curry did play against some talented teams.
That is why it was important for Curry to show up this week at the Senior Bowl. Curry performed at a high level against some of the best senior college football players in the nation. The bowl games like this are very important for small school draft prospects. It gives them the stage and chance to perform against some of the best competition that they didn't face during the regular season.
What I really like about Vinny Curry is his build. He is 6'3 and 265 pounds. He has that lean muscular frame I like and is very compact. Curry looks to be very strong and stout, meaning he could perform well against the run as a 3-4 OLB.
He did display some athleticism during the week in the individual drills, but there was one play during the game that stood out to me. The South team ran a play action pass and Curry was not fooled at all. As he was motioning to his left, he realized the play was coming back to his right. Curry then planted his foot into the ground and made a great cutback to where the play was developing. It shows that he has football intelligence and the athleticism to be a play maker.
People will point out the tackles and sacks Curry had, but that play was the most impressive for me. It's amazing how one play can tell you so much about a prospect. I know it's one play, but that showed me Curry has football IQ and the athleticism to play in the NFL.
So we know Curry has the athletic ability, but is he the RKG? From everything I have read about Curry, he totally seems like he fits the Cowboys criteria. In his interviews, Curry comes across as a really nice kid. I like when I see a humble young man, and Curry does come across that way.
From what I listed above, it looks like Curry is a hard worker with a strong work ethic. I would label Curry as a blue collar prospect, a guy who wants to get dirty earning his living and I like that about Curry. He loves football and has a strong passion for the game. Not every prospect loves the game, but Curry does and that's great to see.
I usually like to compare a prospect I am breaking down to a current NFL player. Curry reminds me of former Dallas Cowboy Greg Ellis, even though Greg Ellis was closer to 6'6 while Curry is 6'3, I just see some Greg Ellis when I look at Vinny Curry. Curry also reminds me of New York Giant, Matthias Kiwanuka. Like Ellis, Kiwanuka is taller (6'5) than Curry (6'3), but I can see some resemblances in Vinny Curry.
The Senior Bowl definitely upped Curry's stock heading into the NFL Combine, which takes place in February. If Curry goes to Indianapolis and performs well, we could then see his draft stock take off. What I like about Curry is that it gives the Cowboys options. If they decided to draft a G or CB in the first round, Curry would then be a great fit for us in the second round. It's always a good thing to have options.
I believe that Curry is a well rounded player who could play early on in his career. The Cowboys could plug Curry into Anthony Spencer's spot and expect solid production from Curry. I will say this though, there is some Anthony Spencer in Vinny Curry. That necessarily isn't a bad thing, but I don't expect Curry to be a 12-15 sack a year player. I think Curry will be real productive against the run and anywhere from a 6-10 sack a year player.
Curry is a good athlete, but he may be similar to Spencer in terms of athleticism. This is why the combine is so important for me. I like using some of the drills performed at the combine to get a better feel for what Curry can do as a pass rusher.
But in the second round, Curry looks like a great fit. Maybe if the Cowboys had drafted Anthony Spencer in the second or third round, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
So pencil in Vinny Curry's name onto the Cowboys draft list of potential targets. Anthony Spencer's job is on the line and it looks like there are a bunch of worthy replacements in this years draft class. The only problem is, the list is stocked in the first two rounds. After that, the list gets really thin. Now we have another target worthy of our attention and his name is Vinny Curry from Jersey.
Vinny Curry getting his Rick Flair on?