Scouting The Draft: Vinny Curry, DE Marshall University

HOUSTON - OCTOBER 22: Defensive lineman Vinny Curry #99 of the Marshall Thundering Herd lines up against the Houston Cougars at Robertson Stadium on October 22, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Coming to you today with another prospect who I think the Jets would be wise to look at, none other than Vinny Curry from Marshall university. I have more than a passing interest in Marshall football and Curry may be the best NFL prospect to come out of Marshall since Chad Pennington in 2000 and the best defensive player since Chris Crocker in 2003, your right; Marshall hasn't produced much defensive talent recently.

23 sacks the last two years, 21.5 tackles for loss (second nationally) in 2011; 6'4 263lb's, conference USA first team. Was mentioned as being in the running for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (nation's best defensive player), the Chuck Bednarik Awards (nation's best defensive player) and Rotary Lombardi Awards (nation's best lineman).

Join me after the jump for a little information on his game:

First of all we need to mention that conference USA is hardly the most respected or toughest conference in college football. That's a given and that's part of the reason why I think people are looking at him in the 2nd rather than the first round this year. He also doesn't have that elite burst that a Courtney Upshaw possesses but he is a great football player and the best thing about Vinny? he's grounded and loves to learn. A quote from Vinny taken from the senior bowl this week, responding to how he is enjoying working with NFL coaches:

I love it. I love getting coached, and I like learning new things. I'm just very excited.

Positives

Possesses natural strength with his frame, uses his hands well and extends his arms. Plays with good pad level initially and has developed pass rushing moves to accompany his strength. Has a talent of quickly disengaging from blockers and has lateral ability to seal the edge. Changes direction very quickly without losing momentum, a very clean tackler who plays the run well but has room to improve here . Moves downhill and across the face of the line to seal the gaps. High motor who works to the ball until the whistle goes. Good range in pursuit of the ball carrier. When he can't get to the ball carrier himself, he moves his blocker into gaps to force the runner into team mates. Is a natural leader who will lead by example on the field and has a positive attitude in the locker room. Never had any legal issues or off the field problems.

Negatives

Doesn't have the elite burst off the snap and won't beat many NFL tackles for speed around the outside. If he doesn't have initial success off the snap can raise his pad level and stand up too much to lineman which makes it extremely hard to get off blocks. Can sometimes be too hungry to get to the ball carrier and fails to maintain containment on the outside.

Final Word

Vinny is a high character guy who has NFL talent. Can be easily coached on how to maintain the correct pad level throughout his move. Not elite with his speed rushing but his hunger and desire and nose for the ball will stand him in good stead for a 2nd day selection. He is a very interesting prospect who I think will grow in the NFL to be a reliable, above average player. I don't think he will ever be elite but I wouldn't mind us taking a strong look at him in the 2nd round.

Video Highlights


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