2009 Top NFL Draft Prospects: Linebackers

Aaron Curry, Wake Forest, Senior, 6’2” 254lbs:

Strengths: Curry is considered by many to be the safest pick in the draft, and seems destined for stardom at the next level. He has the versatility to play any linebacker position, although his best spot is probably on the strong side. Curry really impressed at the combine, and has all the athleticism and smarts to be a great player. He shows excellence in coverage, is a sure tackler, and will even get after the passer.

Weaknesses: There isn’t really any weakness to his game whatsoever, and should play well in any scheme or position.

Rey Maualuga, USC, Senior, 6’2” 249lbs:

Strengths: An absolutely punishing hitter, Maualuga has dished out his share of highlight reel takedowns on opponents. He was also the emotional leader of the nation’s top defense, and the intensity he brings to the game is contagious. Maualuga is a very aggressive player, and is very effective when blitzing as well.

Weaknesses: Because of his aggressiveness, Maualuga has the tendency to over-pursue running plays, which makes him susceptible to outside of the tackle runs or play action. He also struggles in coverage, as he is not very smooth in his hip turns, and sometimes looks awkward.

Brian Cushing, USC, Senior, 6’3” 243lbs:

Strengths: Cushing is another outstanding linebacker from USC, and is a physical specimen who won’t be outworked. Cushing is also very fast, and explosive when getting after the quarterback. He brings the versatility of being able to play in both the 4-3, and the 3-4 schemes.

Weaknesses: Some would call it versatility, others would call it being without a true position. Cushing will have to prove to scouts that he actually can play in both schemes.

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