Prospect profile: Rennie Curran, Georgia LB

Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room has hundreds of player evaluations in preparation for the 2010 NFL draft. Here is a capsule look at prospect Rennie Curran.

Curran was 18th nationally in tackles last season, averaging 10 per game.
Curran was 18th nationally in tackles last season, averaging 10 per game.

NFL position: OLB
Height: 5-10 5/8
Weight: 235
40 time: 4.87
Current projection: Third-round pick

Strengths: Is quick and athletic, able to chase down plays sideline to sideline. Shows good instincts to read correctly and react quickly. Reaches full speed in a blink, and shows an explosive closing burst to ballcarriers. Shows the quickness and agility to avoid blockers, and is tough to block in the open field. When dropping into coverage, is quick, smooth and agile. Reads quarterbacks well, and delivers hard hits after the catch. Gets out to the flat quickly to tackle running backs right after the catch on dump-offs, and shows the speed to cover tight ends man-to-man all over the field. Bends knees and snaps hips to drive into ballcarriers to deliver violent hits.

Weaknesses: Lacks height; can be engulfed by offensive linemen. Bites on play-action fakes at times, allowing receivers to get behind him. Struggles to defend passes to tight ends despite being in good position — gets pushed around or beat on jump balls. Must learn to better use hands to protect legs from cut blocks.

Bottom line: Curran is a short linebacker with the athleticism, instincts, competitiveness and speed to still be productive. Perhaps only the Redskins’ London Fletcher has been a high-quality NFL linebacker at his size. As an added bonus, Curran also should be a special teams demon.

For more than 640 player scouting reports from Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated mock draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room has hundreds of player evaluations in preparation for the 2010 NFL draft. Here is a capsule look at prospect Rennie Curran.

Curran was 18th nationally in tackles last season, averaging 10 per game.
Curran was 18th nationally in tackles last season, averaging 10 per game.

NFL position: OLB
Height: 5-10 5/8
Weight: 235
40 time: 4.87
Current projection: Third-round pick

Strengths: Is quick and athletic, able to chase down plays sideline to sideline. Shows good instincts to read correctly and react quickly. Reaches full speed in a blink, and shows an explosive closing burst to ballcarriers. Shows the quickness and agility to avoid blockers, and is tough to block in the open field. When dropping into coverage, is quick, smooth and agile. Reads quarterbacks well, and delivers hard hits after the catch. Gets out to the flat quickly to tackle running backs right after the catch on dump-offs, and shows the speed to cover tight ends man-to-man all over the field. Bends knees and snaps hips to drive into ballcarriers to deliver violent hits.

Weaknesses: Lacks height; can be engulfed by offensive linemen. Bites on play-action fakes at times, allowing receivers to get behind him. Struggles to defend passes to tight ends despite being in good position — gets pushed around or beat on jump balls. Must learn to better use hands to protect legs from cut blocks.

Bottom line: Curran is a short linebacker with the athleticism, instincts, competitiveness and speed to still be productive. Perhaps only the Redskins’ London Fletcher has been a high-quality NFL linebacker at his size. As an added bonus, Curran also should be a special teams demon.

For more than 640 player scouting reports from Russ Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated mock draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

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