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Old 01-23-2009, 07:23 AM   #1
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Default SI: Aaron Curry getting ready for the Draft.

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Aaron Curry is a 6-foot-2, 247-pound linebacker who started every game for Wake Forest last season.
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What team will take Curry in SI.com's mock draft?




As a walkup to the NFL draft on April 25, SI.com writer Ted Keith has arranged to get diary entries from Aaron Curry, an All-America linebacker at Wake Forest who is projected to go high in the first round. In them he'll talk about his preparation for the combine, his workouts for NFL teams and his hopes and fears leading to and including draft day.

I grew up with my mom and two of my half-brothers, one of whom was Christopher Curry, who played wide receiver at North Carolina from 2001 to 2004. I've always modeled my game after Lawrence Taylor and Julius Peppers, two guys who starred defensively at North Carolina, but Carolina didn't recruit me -- they said I was too small. My dad, Reggie Pinkney, played football at East Carolina and then in the NFL for five years with the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Colts from 1977 to 1981. He wasn't really present in my upbringing but he talked to me a lot in high school and just told me to keep my head on straight and keep working. We never really talked about his career in the NFL, and I never really paid attention to the fact that he had been in the NFL. We still don't really talk about it. I just knew that he played and that was about it.

I was projected as a third-round NFL pick if I had come out last year. My mom [Chris] is a high school teacher [in Fayetteville, N.C.] and she always taught me to finish whatever I started, so it wasn't a hard decision for me to finish school at Wake Forest and then go pro.

I never focused on the NFL or read the draft magazines, like some players do. I focused on being the best all-around linebacker I could be -- getting stronger, playing faster, becoming an all-around linebacker. I am glad I didn't do this last year. My decision to come back to school was absolutely the right one. I really benefited from that, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I feel like I'm in a much better position now facing the combine than last year. My maturity as a person and as a player has increased significantly since the end of last season. I was able to use my senior year to show everybody I'm better than I thought I was, and now I have the maturity to handle the business side of things the right way, too.

I got my degree in four and a half years because I redshirted my freshman season. My last exam was on December 15 at 2 p.m. That's something you don't forget. The class was social problems, and when I walked out of there I said, 'It's all football all the time now.'

After Christmas I came out from Fayetteville to Arizona for a week before API [Athlete Performance Institute] actually opened so that I could get used to the time zone and the heat. I realized I was in the NFL world when I woke up the first day and didn't have to go to class and didn't have any homework to turn in.

I have an apartment down the street from the API facility that Octagon, my agency, got for me. When I first got out here I was with my girlfriend, Jamila, who graduated from Clemson. She helped me get my stuff organized, and make sure I didn't get homesick. We were on our own, just hanging out with each other. Like every young couple we went to the mall, went to the movies, played putt-putt. That was my first time playing putt-putt, and I had more fun than I thought I would. I was amazed at how hard it actually was to hit that little ball. They made that course so creative; there was one hole that had a door that opened and closed and I think it took me about 15 shots to finish it.

Day 1 at API was orientation day. There was a guy there to make sure we were in the right place at the right time. I met the speed coach and nutritionist, we did a test where they put us on the treadmill with an oxygen mask and they tested our lung capacity, tested our flexibility. We ate lunch and then did a very small workout, just working on running for them. Every day after that has been pretty much the same routine.

I'm up at 6:30 pretty much every day. Surprisingly, there are some days where we get a lot of down time. Maybe you'll get a trainer to work with you or do some preparation for the Wonderlic test. Guys that went through all the All-Star games had their prep for that, but I'm not nervous at all -- I trust my intelligence and my common sense and my ability to think under pressure.

As a player, I've always been confident in my ability and my work ethic to get better. I put my faith in speed coaches and strength coaches and then just go with the flow. I try not to worry about things I don't do well. Instead, I just treat it like every day is my first time. I've got to get stronger and I've got to get faster.

The best part of being here so far is the nutritionist. It's awesome. They teach you how it's all about what you eat and how you eat. And the food is wonderful. I haven't had a meal yet where I've been disappointed. Every meal's been one of those where I wish there was more laying around. They have you eat according to what you decided to do. If you decided you wanted to gain weight, you eat a certain number of calories. If you want to lose weight, you do the same. I'm hoping to limit my body fat. It's not down to where I want it. They assure me that as long as I continue working I'll burn my body fat. Tonight my dinner is a big piece of steamed salmon on top of steamed vegetables, and I can't wait.


Texas defensive end/linebacker Brian Orakpo is expected to be one of the first defensive players taken in April's NFL draft.
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A lot of the other players who are here now didn't show up until after the bowl games and more guys will show up after the Senior Bowl. So far, I'm having a great time working out with all the fellas, we're really bonding well, keeping each other motivated. In my group I have Jason Smith from Baylor -- I played against him the first game of the season -- but the rest of the guys, like AQ Shipley, Brian Orakpo, Chase Coffman, are guys I'd only heard of or seen them on TV. We came to the conclusion the other day that the bonds that athletes share is unlike any other. No matter how much we compete on game days, we realize we have something in common to go through what we go through.

We all look at it the same: We're all on the same level and trying to advance ourselves financially. We all know this is the most important time in our lives. There's a really good vibe here.

We haven't been able to hang out together too much away from the field. We were supposed to go to Dave and Buster's last weekend, but the strength coach put a whoopin' on us in the weight room with a very intense upper body workout. I couldn't move my body when we were done. We did bench pressing four times for 30 seconds, just keep moving the weight until it just won't move any more, lat pulldowns.

It's a workout that will have you wondering what you got yourself into. As soon as you get done lifting you ask yourself why did I pick this place. We all say that to ourselves, but it's because we all realize we've got to make money.

Tomorrow will be the same old routine: work out hard, eat very well, talk to my friends and family to stay motivated and disciplined and keep my eyes on the prize and make sure nothing's stopping me from reaching my goals.

Email comments to siwriters@simail.com
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:31 AM   #2
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Curry should be a top 5 pick. He can make an impact at any of the LB positions and should blow everyone away with his combine numbers.
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:38 AM   #3
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I would love to see Curry fall to #12 on draft day...
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:41 AM   #4
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I would love to see Curry fall to #12 on draft day...

Pipe dream. It will be a miracle if he is still there past #5.
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:44 AM   #5
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Pipe dream. It will be a miracle if he is still there past #5.
I agree. I always wonder where the term "Pipe Dream" came from. Anyway, you could always hope. No one throught Clady would be there at 12 last year.
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:59 AM   #6
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While he may not fall to us it can help. By him declaring it pushes others down as he is a sure fire top 10 pick. So maybe someone who might have been just out of our reach now drops to Denver.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:30 AM   #7
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I agree. I always wonder where the term "Pipe Dream" came from. Anyway, you could always hope. No one throught Clady would be there at 12 last year.
A pipe dream is a fantastic hope or plan that is generally regarded as being nearly impossible to achieve. It is implied that the smoker of the pipe is smoking a substance that alters their perceptions to make something fantastical seem achievable. An approximate synonym is the phrase "pie in the sky."
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:32 AM   #8
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how did Patrick Willis fall to San Fran, i thought he graded out higher than AJ Hawk..so who knows..
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:41 AM   #9
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A pipe dream is a fantastic hope or plan that is generally regarded as being nearly impossible to achieve. It is implied that the smoker of the pipe is smoking a substance that alters their perceptions to make something fantastical seem achievable. An approximate synonym is the phrase "pie in the sky."
I know what it meant, just wondered where it came from. Never been HI on the drug colloquialisms. I have heard it many times before, but it is not a phrase that I would commonly use.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:47 AM   #10
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I hope he runs a 4.6 at the combine. Then he might actually fall to us.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:00 AM   #11
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No one throught Clady would be there at 12 last year.
You mean, aside from 3/4 of the experts and mock drafts that had us selecting him at 12?
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:05 AM   #12
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We all look at it the same: We're all on the same level and trying to advance ourselves financially.
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As soon as you get done lifting you ask yourself why did I pick this place. We all say that to ourselves, but it's because we all realize we've got to make money.
Real tough to see what his sole motivation in life is.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:11 AM   #13
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I see 1 out of 3 of the top experts. What I was saying, around this time last year no one thought he would get to us. Then the "Is Clady Dumb" thing came up. I had seen him as high as 5.

Kiper's Final Mock 2008

1 Miami Dolphins Jake Long, OT Michigan
2 St. Louis Rams Chris Long, DE Virginia
3 Atlanta Falcons Glenn Dorsey, DT LSU
4 Oakland Raiders *Vernon Gholston, DE Ohio St.
5 Kansas City Chiefs *Derrick Harvey, DE Florida
6 New York Jets *Darren McFadden, RB Arkansas
7 New England Patriots (from SF) Sedrick Ellis, DT USC
8 Baltimore Ravens Matt Ryan, QB Boston College
9 Cincinnati Bengals Keith Rivers, LB USC
10 New Orleans Saints Leodis McKelvin, CB Troy
11 Buffalo Bills *Devin Thomas, WR Michigan St.
12 Denver Broncos *Branden Albert, G/OT Virginia

Mayock's Final Mock 2008

1. Miami Dolphins Jake Long Offensive tackle Michigan 6-7 315
2. St. Louis Rams Chris Long Defensive end Virginia 6-4 275
3. Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan Quarterback Boston College 6-5 224
4. Oakland Raiders Darren McFadden Running back Arkansas 6-2 210
5. Kansas City Chiefs Glenn Dorsey Defensive tackle LSU 6-2 316
6. New York Jets Vernon Gholston Defensive end Ohio State 6-4 258
7. New England Patriots Keith Rivers Linebacker USC 6-3 235
8. Baltimore Ravens Branden Albert Offensive tackle Virginia 6-6 309
9. Cincinnati Bengals Derrick Harvey Defensive end Florida 6-5 252
10. New Orleans Saints Sedrick Ellis Defensive tackle USC 6-1 305
11. Buffalo Bills Leodis McKelvin Cornerback Troy 5-11 190
12. Denver Broncos Ryan Clady Offensive tackle Boise State 6-6 316

McShay's Final Mock Draft 2008

1. Miami Dolphins -- Jake Long, OT, Michigan
2. St. Louis Rams -- Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU
3. Atlanta Falcons -- Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
4. Oakland Raiders -- Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
5. Kansas City Chiefs -- Chris Long, DE, Virginia
6. New York Jets -- Vernon Gholston, DE/OLB, Ohio State
7. N.E. Patriots (from 5-11 S.F.) -- Keith Rivers, OLB, USC
8. Baltimore Ravens -- Branden Albert, OT/G, Virginia
9. Cincinnati Bengals -- Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC
10. New Orleans Saints -- Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida
11. Buffalo Bills -- Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan State
12. Denver Broncos -- Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:21 AM   #14
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All three of those had Clady still available at 12, whether they had Denver selecting him or not.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:44 AM   #15
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All three of those had Clady still available at 12, whether they had Denver selecting him or not.
again. I am saying at this time last year, no one thought the Clady would be there.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:57 AM   #16
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again. I am saying at this time last year, no one thought the Clady would be there.
I can't find any mocks from January, but almost all the February ones I've seen do.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:09 AM   #17
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Clady was pretty high last time around this year. Albert Seemed to really gain the momentum toward the end even though he wasn't picked nearly as high. Pretty impressive final Mock by Mayock, he def. is more in touch than Kiper.
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