Danny O'Neil covers the Seahawks for The Seattle Times.
May 4, 2009 10:20 AM
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Well, the draft is over, the NFL regular season is still four months away so you know what that leaves time for? Lists. Reporters and columnists who cover the NFL love to make lists. We list the best drafts around the league and the worst. We count up the best offseasons and the worst and all those lists don't amount to a speck in the eye once the season starts going.
But this particular list caught my attention. NFL.com senior columnist Vic Cariucci listed the 10 players most likely to have an impact as rookies.
There's a name that's not on that list that I found surprising: Aaron Curry. The guy everyone has spent two months characterizing as the very safest player in the draft, a 254-pound linebacker with great top-end speed and a spot carved out in the Seahawks' starting lineup.
Interesting. The first impact player listed was Ohio State's Robert Ayers, a one-year starter at Tennessee who racked up all of nine sacks in his career. LB Rey Maualuga, who fell all the way to the second round, is also there, but no Curry.
This is despite the precedent set by Jerod Mayo, Patrick Willis, DeMeco Ryans, Shawne Merriman and Jonathan Vilma. Recognize those names? They're the past five players to be named Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press. Know what position they play? Linebacker. The winner six years ago was Terrell Suggs, who came into the league as a linebacker but now actually plays more defensive end for the Baltimore Ravens.
So the player considered the most NFL-ready in this draft, who plays a position that has produced seven of the past nine defensive rookies of the year isn't included on the list? Well, that means that list will be included on my list of ill-informed lists for this NFL offseason.