College: Texas Tech
Birthday: July 28, 1980
Strengths: Two things should immediately jump out at you when looking at Kevin Curtis. The first is his linebacker-like size. The second is his tackle total through last year: 326. From a strong safety.
Make no mistake about it, Curtis is a big hitter, an absolute tackling-machine against the run. In fact, he’s recorded 18 tackles for losses the last two years. Again, he’s a strong safety.
Tech likes to bring him up on the line of scrimmage so he can wreak havoc in the backfield. He’s earned the reputation of being an aggressive, playmaking leader on the field, good enough to turn pro last year, had he opted to do so.
Areas of concern: As good as Curtis is against the run, he has some deficiencies against the pass. The aggressiveness that serves him so well in run defense sometimes comes back to bite him in pass coverage, as he’ll find himself out of position more than you’d like (he’s a sucker for the play action). He’s improving a lot, becoming more patient (which may have been why he came back to Lubbock for his senior season), but it’s still a weakness, and thus, a concern.
Curtis also lacks the speed to go man-to-man with faster wide receivers, but has the size to match-up with bigger tight ends and most offensive linemen. Think former Bronco Steve Atwater.
Is he sponge-worthy?: The 2002 draft, especially if Oklahoma’s Roy Williams comes out, could be very deep in strong safeties, with as many as four likely worthy of first round consideration.
Curtis stacks up favorably with all of them, but could find himself pushed to the end of the first round if he can’t improve upon his posted 40 (4.57). If that happens, he could become a factor in the Texans’ plans. He’s certainly good enough to merit top-of-the-second round consideration, though you have to wonder if Casserly and company will put a premium on finding a safety.
Kevin Curtis Return to The War Room
Kevin Curtis — NFL can wait CBS Sportsline reports on Kevin Curtis’ decision to return to Lubbock for his senior season.