Tyson Jackson/Aaron Curry Comparison and Update
Written by Curt Popejoy on 10/05/2009
I promised readers back in April, when I wrote about the Chiefs pick of Tyson Jackson in my article "The Chiefs Made a Big Mistake..." I would keep everyone up to date on the status of both Aaron Curry and Tyson Jackson. So very quickly a quarter into the season, here's how the two picks break down.
First, let's look at Tyson Jackson. Jackson has started all 4 games for the Kansas City Chiefs this year, at left defensive end. Those who don't follow KC should know the Chiefs have switched up to a 3-4 defense, so the role of Jackson is less that of a pass rusher and more of a run stuffer and as I said in the previous article more of an offensive guard to absorb blockers and allow the linebackers to go unabated to the ball carrier. Now, I understand the Chiefs are off to a horrendous start going winless in their first 4 games. But nonetheless, great players still can have great individual efforts regardless and so let's see how this high draft pick has fared.
In 4 starts, where he's played as part of a dline rotation, and I am going to guess he's playing 70% of the snaps, Jackson has just 4 total tackles, 2 solo and 2 assists. As I said before, I don't expect great things in the box score from Jackson in terms of sacks, so not having any doesn't shock me. But averaging one total tackle a game is very troubling. Not surprising to me, but still troubling. I even went a step further and looked at the OLB playing behind Jackson, because at times, a measure of a good 3-4 DE is how they free up the man playing behind them. Alas, things don't get much better as Mike Vrabel has not been able to get a sack this season yet either.
Moving on to Curry. Curry was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, and was an opening week starter at strong side outside linebacker. He's on the field basically every down, especially with some injuries to Leroy Hill and Lofa Tatupu. Curry has 22 total tackles, 20 solo and 2 assists, 1 sack and 1 forced fumble. In the 3 games I've watched him play, they've moved Curry all over. On some plays he's got his hand on the ground rushing the passer(not sure what his hurries and hits stats are, but he's had several), and others he's dropping into coverage. At this point, Curry is still learning a lot about coverage and has had some lapses. But in terms of run support, he's been all that's advertised. Curry is in a situation similar to Jackson in that the team he's on, just hasn't been playing very well. But individually Curry is improving every week his role is expanding with the team, and he's producing. I expect to see them rush Curry more, and those sack numbers to go way up.
So if I were to score this first "round" meaning first four games of the season, what's my card look like? Obviously it's unanimous in favor of Curry. He's an explosive athlete and the Seahawks are just scratching the surface of what he could do. Can you imagine what he's look like as a rush OLB for the Chiefs? Instead you get Mike Vrabel. Sorry Chiefs fans, but at the 1/4 mark, the Jackson pick just isn't measuring up. Jackson is getting swallowed up by NFL offensive tackles and hasn't shown any improvement. This team high first round picks at both end spots, and so expectations are high. So far, Jackson is not delivering. I'll be back to update again, once both teams have 8 games under their belt and we'll see if Jackson is able to gain any ground on Curry.
Last Edited: 10/05/2009