Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry was a popular prospect at the podium this afternoon, as he’s projected to be a top-five selection this April. He was asked by reporters to give his thoughts about potentially playing for the teams selecting in the top-five and Curry had great things to say about every team.
But again the question about playing in a 3-4 defense came up and Curry believes he has the versatility to make an impact no matter what scheme he plays in.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Curry said. “I have the ability to rush the passer on the outside and I have the strength to play on the inside in a 3-4. I think I can come in instantly and make an impact on anybody’s defense. My versatility as a linebacker will allow me to play in a 3-4, inside or outside; you can’t go wrong [with me].”
The 6-foot-1, 254-pound Curry will go through a complete workout on Monday and with a solid performance during interviews, he has a chance to go as high as No. 3 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
West Virginia QB Pat White answered questions from the media this afternoon and the main topic was if he believed he could be a quarterback at the next level. White showcased his talents at the Senior Bowl and although there were some forgettable moments during practice, he left Mobile as the game MVP.
White's versatility and his desire to be a QB at the next level are what make him attractive.
“It was a great week,” White said. “The first day was a little sluggish for me, but I was able to work on my drops and I think I got that down. I think I ran the system well and I hope I showed that I could get the ball over those 6-6, 6-7 guys on the offensive line.”
And for the scouts in attendance that believe he could be a QB in the NFL?
“A few teams said that I could play quarterback and a few said that they see me at another position,” he said. “I’m just going to keep working and try to get better everyday.”
Many believe that the only possibility White has to take snaps behind center is in the Wildcat formation, which became popular this past season in the NFL. With the NFL adopting the athletic formation, a player of White’s ability becomes more valuable and it could increase his draft status.
“I think [the Wildcat] gives me a better opportunity to help somebody out,” he said.
White is projected to be a late second, early third round draft pick.
Even though some of the players who have been circulating into the media room have looked a bit weary due to their 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. wake-up regimen, Cal linebacker Zach Follett was his usual, animated self, displaying the high energy level that he brings to every play on the football field.
"I took a lot of advice, I called a lot of former Cal players who have been here, and they said it's going to be a grind, get your sleep," he said. "I've gotten a lot of sleep, I mapped out my sleeping real methodically so I wouldn't be down and I'd have a pep in my step out here. And I think it's working for me."
"He was actually glad that I wasn't a snorer," the Cal linebacker said. "He said he gets stuck with a snorer every time he goes to one of these things. He said he didn't have to throw any pillows at me."
Follett logged 23 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks for Cal during his senior campaign.
Utah DE/OLB Paul Kruger, who declared for the draft as a redshirt sophomore, sighted his age as the main reason why he decided to turn pro.
Kruger is an intriguing prospect who has great ability as a pass rusher .
“The fact that I just turned 23; I’m about the same age as guys that have been in school for five years,” Kruger said. “That played into my decision to come out. It was a tough decision, but one that was understood.”
After being redshirted in 2004, Kruger served an LDS mission for a few years and returned to Utah in 2007, as the starting right defensive end. This past season, Kruger displayed great ability coming off the edge and recorded 7.5 sacks.
Kruger’s attributes make him an ideal fit as a 3-4 OLB, but he has the ability to be a DE in a 4-3. However, with more teams switching to the 3-4 this offseason, he will be an attractive option for teams in need of a versatile defender.
“It will be based on where I end up,” he said, in regards to what position he will play at the next level. “I really don’t have a preference. I feel really comfortable standing up rushing the passer, and I also feel comfortable being sturdy down in the trenches with the big boys. Either way, I feel good.”
Cincinnati DE/OLB Connor Barwin talked with the media this morning and said that he’s here as a defensive end. Barwin weighed in this morning at 6-foot-3, 256 pounds and even though he has experience playing both ways at the collegiate level, most teams view him as a defensive player.
“The one thing that comes up a lot is that most teams see me as a defensive player,” Barwin said. “But, there are a few teams that view me as a tight end. The teams that view me as a defensive player, they all seem to talk about me being intriguing in the redzone as a tight end. I think I helped myself a little at the Senior Bowl playing at tight end and I showed them I’m a legitimate option on offense.”
Barwin figures to be a prospect many 3-4 teams will likely take a look at as an OLB, because of his athleticism and versatility. The transition to becoming a fulltime linebacker shouldn’t be difficult for a player who’s used to being moved around.
Penn State defensive end Maurice Evans weighed-in at 6-foot-1, 274 pounds.
Evans has the potential, but off-the-field issues may hold him back.
"I put on a little weight, put on a little muscle," he said. "I'm usually around 265, so it's not that big of a jump."
Evans, who made 34 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, and was credited with three sacks in 2008, was asked about his drop-off in production in comparison to his sophomore year. In 2007, he was sixth in the nation with 21.5 tackles for a loss and his 12.5 sacks was the eighth-best mark in the country.
"Some people say my production went down, but I don't think it did," Evans said. "Even though I didn't have the same amount of sacks I had my sophomore year, I still was able to contribute in many other ways--make the little things happen so that the bigger plays can happen."
Evans believes he can have an impact as a pass-rusher at the pro level.
"I bring intensity, I bring pressure to the quarterback on every passing down," he said. I'm a playmaker, I make things happen."
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A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America, Ed Thompson's player interviews and NFL features are published across the Scout.com network and at FOXSports.com. You can contact him by email through this link.