Curry motivated by thought of being No. 1 overall pick

Wake Forest LB Aaron Curry finished his final scouting-combine drill — the 60-yard shuttle — and launched into a somersault, landing on his back near the 35-yard line on the Lucas Oil Stadium field turf and throwing his arms out wide as he looked up at the ceiling.

Exhale. It’s over.

“It’s always been a childhood dream to come out here to the NFL combine and perform,” Curry said, still breathing heavy from the final drill. “For so long, I watched all of the other athletes perform, and I always said, ‘I want to be like him. I want to be better than him.’ I’m just amazed by the talent that has been out here and to know that I was out here now and somebody out in the world is saying, ‘Wow.’

“To be able to go through all the drills, and then at the end of the agility, I finished strong. It’s been a great, great five days. Then a somersault to top it off.”

The linebacker likely strengthened his resume — and his ascending draft status — with an impressive performance Monday at the combine. He finished first among linebackers in four of the six drills tested — 40-yard dash (4.56 seconds), vertical jump (37 inches), broad jump (10 feet, 4 inches) and 60-yard shuttle (11.35 seconds). He also displayed his blend of size and speed during linebacker drills.

The buzz at the combine is that Curry is the “safest” pick in the draft.

While that sounds like a media term, the affable Curry said his favorite part of the combine experience was having lunch with members of the Detroit Lions, who could make him the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft. Curry said that experience — and the thought of being the top pick — motivated him as he competed in drills.

“Just to know that they’re considering taking a linebacker No. 1 overall … just that whole thought process is amazing,” Curry said. “I came out here today with that in the back of my head.

“It did motivate me to know that if I put on a good enough show, maybe they may feel like they could build a team around a linebacker. Add me with Ernie Sims, and maybe we could make some big plays.”

Next up for Curry is a week off, followed by some more time in Phoenix to train for his March 23 Pro Day.

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