Instant reaction: Seahawks draft Bruce Irvin

April 26th, 2012 | Written by Rob Staton

The Seattle Seahawks keep you guessing.

There were a few whispers doing the rounds in the media pre-draft that a team would take Bruce Irvin in round one. I remember hearing that, pausing for a moment and contemplating. “I wonder? Nah.” In hindsight, I should’ve offered that rumor more than a momentary glance. The Seahawks traded down three spots from #12, collecting a fourth and sixth round pick from Philadelphia. The Eagles drafted Fletcher Cox. The Seahawks drafted Bruce Irvin at #15.

First of all, let’s address the pick. We’ve been saying on this blog for some considerable time that the Seahawks would draft a pass rusher. It has always been the focus in round one. We – and the rest of the world – just didn’t locate who was Pete’s pass rusher. As it turns out, that guy played for West Virginia. Carroll referenced in the video above that he recruited Irvin: “I thought we had special information.” Carroll claims he has incredible speed and that for a time he was the best pass rusher in college football. All true.

A year ago almost to the day, I turned my attention to the 2012 draft. It was time to start looking at the next class after Seattle had just taken James Carpenter in round one. I discovered a player so striking, he stood out as a top-ten prospect immediately. He flew off the screen. He stood out.

His name was Bruce Irvin.

In May 2011, I wrote an article titled: ‘Bruce Irvin is ready to crash the 2012 NFL Draft

Here is an exert:

When I scan through the various early 2012 mock drafts and big boards, one name is unusually absent.

Tony Pauline doesn’t list him among 40 prospects to watch this year. He isn’t part of Walter Cherepinsky or Rob Rang’s 2012 mocks. He isn’t part of Chris Steuber’s big board. In fact the only place I’ve seen this guy register is in Chad Reuter’s early projection – as the 32nd overall pick.

Yet in my opinion, he’s right up there at the top end. Ultimate star potential, a defensive prospect who may be the best overall in college football. This is one player who will help define his team as they mount what I believe is a realistic shot at making a BCS Bowl, maybe even the big one. On his highlight’s tape, they borrow the name ‘Beast Mode’, but if Marshawn Lynch watches this guy play I’m sure he won’t complain.

The best pass rusher in college football is Bruce Irvin of the West Virginia Mountaineers. He was part of my top-50 prospects for 2012.

He’s lightning quick as you’d expect given the size but unlike Von Miller who relied completely on speed, Irvin is more than willing to engage a tackle, drive him into the quarterback or beat him with stunning hand placement. I’ve never see a guy with this size paddle away an offensive lineman before.

He’s the best kept secret in college football. Last season he recorded 14 sacks and yet received virtually no hype. West Virginia pulled off a masterstroke appointing Dana Holgorsen as their offensive coordinator and future head coach. He was the mastermind behind Oklahoma State’s free-scoring offense which consistently churned out talent at running back and wide receiver. The Mountaineers will have a productive offense next season and with Irvin leading the way on defense they’re an outside pick to go unbeaten next year. That’ll help to put this guy firmly on the map.

Make no mistake this is the most devastating, dominating and exciting player you’ll watch during the 2011 college season. I’d recommend reading this piece from Geoff Coyle on Irvin’s background and route to WVU. More importantly, take a look at the schedule and make sure you grab the opportunity to watch him in action.

Irvin himself read that article, and retweeted it. He expected to be a round one pick, probably because so many people were complimenting his game. He referenced it in interviews, he talked about having a fantastic final season at WVU and being a round one pick. Without doubt the best pass rusher in college football in 2010 was not Da’Quan Bowers or Von Miller, it was Bruce Irvin.

So what happened?

Irvin had a big impact as a specialist rusher in 2010, acting on third downs and recording 14 sacks after transferring as a JUCO prospect. In 2011, the Mountaineers attempted to turn him into an every down type player. He was used in three-man fronts, right on the line and not in space. He faced regular double teams, he was hit out of plays and struggled to have an impact. In his first five games last season, he had just one sack. When he reverted back to a ‘specialist’ role, he notched 7.5 sacks in five games. Go figure.

At the combine he exploded, running the fastest time by any pass rusher with a flat 4.50 forty yard dash at 6-3 and 245lbs. He had a 1.58 10-yard split. You can see his workout by clicking here.

The Seahawks have gone after their schematic version of Aldon Smith. Except their version of Aldon Smith looks more like Clay Matthews. Don’t expect Irvin to play every down. For those wondering if Irvin is going to translate to linebacker, it probably won’t happen. He’ll play obvious passing downs, either at the LEO or replacing Raheem Brock’s nickel role. Yet he may well be just as productive. One day he could replace Chris Clemons at the LEO.

He’s a pure, speed, edge rusher with a bit of fight to his game and occasionally surprising strength. But overall, he’s going to have one responsibility – get to the QB. He’s not that young at 24, so they’ll expect an impact. In fact, he turns 25 on November 1st.

The pick at #15 summed up an extraordinary first round which flew by at just over three hours and contained many surprises. There were a number of trades, especially late in the first round. At one point Tampa Bay moved up several spots back into the first to grab Doug Martin and they merely flipped fourth rounders with Denver for the pleasure. That was a king steal for such a talented running back. Prospects like AJ Jenkins went in the first round unexpectedly. Brandon Weeden – a 29-year-old rookie to be – went 22nd overall. Irvin was the first edge rusher off the board at #15, ahead of Quinton Coples. Nobody could call events as they unfolded.

Is this a sign of the times? Or the sign of a bad draft class? Will the numerous trades and unexpected picks continue next year, or is it simply the latest trend? How will teams approach the second round? The Seahawks still have needs at running back and linebacker, but will they keep building the pass rush? Or will they look for a touchdown maker?

The Seahawks got their pass rusher, but it wasn’t the guy many expected. I hope the article I linked to above, written almost a year ago today, shows the kind of potential Irvin has. Don’t be down on this pick. I’ll leave you with some links, game tape and a quote to stew on from Seattle’s latest first round pick: “I love eating quarterbacks.”

NOTE – We’re back tomorrow for another live chat from 15:30 PST

LINKS

Les Carpenter: West Virginia prospect Bruce Irvin ditches burglary, drug game for shot at NFL

Frank Rose: Bruce Irvin Turning Heads at the 2012 NFL Combine

James Choy: Irvin sees a bright future ahead

Sports Illustrated: Seattle takes West Virginia’s Bruce Irvin

NFL Network: Bruce Irvin draft profile

57 Responses to “Instant reaction: Seahawks draft Bruce Irvin”

  1. Colin says:

    Bruce Irvin is 22 years old, he’s not 24. fyi

  2. Rob says:

    Colin – he’s 24 unfortunately. His wikipedia page is incorrect. 1st November 1987 is his birthdate.

  3. PS says:

    Actually – now that I did some research on him, I am actually feeling pretty good. I didn’t know this but he was one of the best performers at the combine and was one of the top in the nation in sacks. He certainly will not be an every down DE but it looks like he will thrive in that specialist / Aldon Smith type role. If he is able to add a little weight, I think he could be special.

  4. Kevin S. says:

    Rob, do Pete/JS plan on using him as there elephant? the interview made it seem that way.

  5. Rob says:

    I’m not even going to begin to guess Kevin… but I see him as a specialist.

  6. Colin says:

    Damn you Wikipedia. Thank you for the correction Rob.

  7. Rob says:

    Bruce Irvin on Twitter: “Seahawks nation I know some of y’all are questioning the decision but you all will see soon. #WVU #seahawknation I got y’all!”

  8. Cameron says:

    Rob – Does looking at Irvin as a specialist sort of understate his potential value? What I mean is there’s a pretty good chance that he’ll see snaps in obvious passing downs outside of 3rd down. What percentage of all snaps could he theoretically be used for in a specialist role?

  9. Rob says:

    Great question Cameron – give me some time to study up and I’ll answer properly. Worth noting that a friend in Carolina told me tonight that the Panthers board went Claiborne, Kuechly…. gap… then Coples/Irvin. So teams liked this guy.

  10. Belgaron says:

    I was a bit down heading into the draft, not because I was afraid the ‘Hawks would make a mistake but because I read that Baltimore had flown Irvin secretly in for a workout and had assured him that they would take him at the end of round 1. Going from his 4th-5th round draft grade plus off-field-issues, I thought ‘Hawks could get him for a lowly 3rd round pick and it looked like they were going to get scooped. Stories are out now that 49ers also had intentions to take him in the 1st.

    I think they could have moved down once more a few picks but with the number of trades that were happening, they were probably afraid that other teams might get wind of their intentions and move up past them.

    Tons of great options with the 2nd round pick, they might even have a shot at Janoris Jenkins to have an all ‘Red Flag’ draft. But I’d prefer a speedy linebacker or Cordy Glen if he keeps dropping.

  11. Tom T. says:

    Seattle gave up so many 3rd down conversions when mobile QB’s were free outside of the pocket (namely Alex Smith). That’s no longer going to happen with Irvin’s closing speed.

  12. John says:

    I really hope Irvin is everything Carroll thinks he is. I like the dude, and all people say about the pick is that he has off the field issues. I don’t feel like I can judge the guy, especially when Carroll, who actually knows him, says he’s alright. I’m really hoping he is an Aldon Smith production player. But now… I have no confidence in predicting the later rounds lol

  13. CFraychineaud says:

    Just an interesting comparison of measurables:

    Clay Matthews, 6 ft 3⅛ in, 240 lb, 35½ in, 4.67 s, 4.18 s, 6.90 s, 10 ft 1 in, 23 reps
    Von Miller, 6 ft 3 in, 246 lb, 33½ in, 4.53 s, 4.06 s, 6.70 s, 10 ft 6 in, 21 reps
    Bruce Irvin, 6 ft 3 in, 245 lb, 33 in, 4.50 s, 4.03 s, 6.70 s, 10 ft 3 in, 23 reps

    Now I am not saying he is going to be exactly like the other players on this list, but the measurables are rediculously close. The only negatives I’ve seen or heard have been the age being a bit higher than normal (24, will be 25 Nov 1st), and that he could have been picked later supposedly. Although we’re not exactly sure how accurate that is since it’s being reported that other teams had him in the top 15, and that the niners war room looked physically disgusted that he was picked by seattle. That they might have wanted him says something.

    As a side note, Rob, please clear something up for me. People on the .net forums have been saying the Elephant position is the same as the Leo, which is not what my understanding was at all. The Leo to me is the RE who doesnt play as a down DE, but starts standing alot of the time, the Elephant backer is the SAM backer who is generally a better run stopper than the Leo and would line up at the line like a 3-4 OLB outside of Red bryant to help supply a pass rush. Am I correct in that? If so, then it seems like we could still use an Elephant backer since Irvin seems the air apparent to Clemons at the Leo. Upshaw after a possible move up in Rnd 2 make sense? Or do you think we’re more likely to go MLB or RB in 2. It seems like there’s more depth at MLB in the draft than a good elephant backer.

  14. Thomas says:

    Wow. Just.. wow.

    Character concerns aside, I love this pick. After perusing the interwebs, seems as if a lot of well-respected analysts had Irvin ranked as a first round talent – yourselves included. Perhaps they didn’t have him going in the first, but seems like anyone worth their salt knew this guy was special. I’m impressed that both you & Kip were so keen on Irvin. PFT is reporting that as many as seven teams had Irvin in their top 15 – that helps lay to rest my concerns about taking him where we did. I’ve heard both SF & Baltimore wanted him in the 1st, too

    To hell with Kiper. I’ll take Mike Mayock’s & SDB’s analysis over Kiper’s hot air and hot hair anyday.. not to mention that, in my opinion, Carroll, Schneider & their troops have EARNED my trust based on previous picks and the overall progression of this team.

    This isn’t a popularity contest, a talent show or a bloody beauty pagent, people. This is about double digit sacks. This is about sticking it to SF twice a year. This is about bringing home the Lombardi Trophy. They don’t call him “Big Balls Pete” for nothing. GO ‘HAWKS!

    Thanks for all the hard work this year, guys. See you tomorrow!

  15. CFraychineaud says:

    Ben, K thanks, I appreciate it. Seems like we still need more of a pass rush off Big Red’s side though and although I like KJ Wright alot as a player, he did not provide a ton of pass rush for us off that side last year. I wonder if Irvin maybe plays some SAM in our 3-4 looks, especially on pass rush downs. Wright could probably slide over to the WILL spot.

  16. Richard says:

    I don’t want to say this…..but this looks like a panic move. Granted, they did move down and get 2 extra picks, but the explanations offered sound like excuses not a purposeful plan. I’m still on board and I have always liked him (well we definitely don’t need a project for Ken Norton Jr. now). I’m just saying…

  17. Joe The Jarhead says:

    The teams we were talking about taking him were 28th and 29th respectively. We could’ve easily either traded back or traded up from the second for next to nothing. It’s not Irvin because I liked his skill set, once again it’s Seattle not getting full value. We are buying something for sticker price without haggling. Let’s get the best bang for our buck. And hey we all beat the war drum about versatility with our first roubd pick. But Irvin is a LEO. We have Clemons replacement before Clemons needs replacing. I’m just cheesed off at not getting a true value pick

  18. Madmark says:

    I had him before combine and F/A at pick 75 as Clemons replacement. I never however saw him as a 15th pick. I think New England and Tampa Bay really did well in the draft. Well I expecting more surprises tomorrow to be sure.

  19. Regan says:

    Man i really like this kid. He’s a gansta!

  20. Your Mom says:

    So an ‘older’ kid with legal issues and only plays on passing downs. Sounds like good value at #15 to me. I get the logic of a pass rushing specialst with Red playing on early downs but why not trade down again? Really seems like a waste of value right now.

  21. Alex says:

    ^ They actually addressed that. They thought about it, but didn’t want to get “too cute” with San Diego, San Francisco, and Baltimore all keeping an eye on Irvin. Also, all the trades going on was probably very unsettling.

  22. David J says:

    I really like how he’s able to cut into the pocket after leading the tackle to the outside. He can definitely get to the quarterback.

    What bothers me about this pick is Carroll’s comments in the hallway presser saying that Irvin will play Clemons’ position and that Clemons will teach him. I love the idea of mentorship and all that, but how does doubling down on a one dimensional pass-rush (all from the LEO) help us at all?

  23. Jeriod Klovas says:

    So where does this leave C. Upshaw Rob? Could the hawks still consider him in the 2nd or will they look for an ILB?
    Looks like L. Miller could be a good choice too with the run on RBs at the end of rd 1.

  24. amattson says:

    Let’s talk about who we want tomorrow. It looks like one of our linebackers will be there.
    Sounds like if we took David, we would add another playmaker on defense. I’m thinking that should be the pick, but am looking forward to hearing what the people on this board think.
    I just think about our front line now with Irvin coming off the edge, adding David to our LB corps along with KJ at middle and Hill on the other side, and finally our solid secondary. Sounds like a pretty good D to me. Whatcha think?

  25. Chris says:

    Somewhat disappointed they couldn’t get a guy that would see the field a lot more often for such a high pick. Maybe they’re planning on putting Clemmons out to pasture soon (his contracts up next year isn’t it?) … If so, Upshaw might be good for the next pick once Irvin takes over at LEO. Probably won’t last long though …

  26. amattson says:

    I just read an article that said David might end up being the best defender in this draft. Thoughts?

  27. David J says:

    @amattson

    We went Boom or Bust bigtime tonight. L. David in the second is a rock solid smart choice.

  28. A. Simmons says:

    I really like this pick. The guy is exactly what Carroll talked about: speed and pass rush. He is ridiculous as far as athleticism and motor go. Every pick can fail, but this guy seems like the type to overcome the odds against him. He really is quite amazing to watch. I’m very happy with the pick. He looks like an exciting player. I keep hearing all this talk about his coverage and run defense abilities. Same thing I heard about Clemons. But it hasn’t hurt us because Pete knows how use talent for the scheme we run.

    And who knows, Upshaw is still on the board. Maybe he drops to 43 or we trade up a bit to get him. It seems there are still quite a few good players to get and we have extra picks to play with as well. I think we can snag a project QB in the draft in the 4th or 6th round. Overall, nice first round start. Got the number one rated LEO and extra picks.

  29. A. Simmons says:

    I’m astounded how many people act as though know when a player will be picked or his true value when they haven’t played a down in the NFL. Irvin’s value to our team is quite high. We used a LEO. Which means he is very much the best player we could possibly take to rush the passer how we do it. Like Schneider said, “You don’t get cute” when you have the player you want available to you. If Seattle had taken another gamble trading back, then out of nowhere a team trades up to get Irvin, we’re screwed. Why gamble further when the player you want is there for you to take? Because you believe you know exactly what that player’s value is and how other team’s value him? That’s pure speculation.

    I’m sure the Rams thought they could stand pat and get the receiver they wanted. Boom. Trade up and he’s gone. Could easily have happened with Irvin. But some on here that read mocks think players are rated by teams the same way “experts” rate them. From watching this draft, it should be apparent that that is not true. So if you want a certain player, you get him. You don’t read a bunch of mocks like fans do and go “Mayock says he a third rounder. We can wait and he’ll fall to us. Everyone follows the experts mocks”. Certainly not the kind of GM I want. I seriously doubt a GM of that kind wouldn’t be successful.

  30. D says:

    Easy check question for myself. Wold I have been comfortable with Irvin being picked in the first by the Cards, 49:ers or Rams?

    Heeeell no. I feel better with the picks they got rather than imagine Irvin on the other side of the ball.

  31. Chris says:

    We don’t need a LEO atm.

    I’m more curious what they’re planning to use him for THIS year other than backing up Clem. I assume he’s coming in opposite of Clem on pass downs, not to play the LEO. Are they going to teach him to play LB too?

    I don’t hate the pick, but I find it confusing. This guy can’t seem to do anything but pin his ears back. He’s raw with a capital R, A, and W.

  32. Mind of no mind says:

    It’s really annoying reading all these people assume that the Seahawks could have traded back and still have drafted Irvin. If the Seahawks had traded back, say 5 more picks, and Irvin had been drafted by another team, so the Seahawks drafted Upshaw instead, everyone would be patting them on the back for getting all these picks, and still landing their guy. But the reality would be that the Seahawks gambled and lost, and would have drafted a guy that would have still been available in the second round, and we’d never have known. But somehow everyone knows that Irvin would have been available later.

    The thing I love most about this pick, is that every pass rusher in the draft was available at the time. So there is no doubt at all that the Seahawks got their guy.

  33. Jmpasq says:

    Im a Giant fan but I like this blog so I will offer my 2 cents since some people are grading this pick as a disaster. First off people say Bruce Irvin is a 1 Trick Pony. Maybe, but his trick is being a fly off the edge pass rusher in a draft that doesnt have those players. If a guy could only have 1 trick thats the 1 I want. 2nd the Seahawks moved back then took him. SO as bad as people want to make this out they did grab extra ammunition before getting the guy they wanted. The draft is a little like Roulette the more chips u can put on the numbers the better chance U have at winning. As a Giant fan Ive watched my team build great depth by hitting on Middle Round and late round picks all through the Reese era so anyone more chances u have to hit on a player is a plus to me. I think the Seahawks under this regime have proven to be very savvy in there personal decisions.Just because Walterfootball says the pick grade is “MATT MILLEN LSD-LACED KIELBASA ORGY WITH 200 USDA MEN ” doesnt make it so. In fact it probably means the opposite.

  34. Hawkspur says:

    I agree Jmpasq. The more I read and watch about Irvin (loved his interview last night too) the more excited I become. I’ve managed to find a few sites with pre-draft wishlists for fans of a number of teams. A huge number of people seemed to want Irvin on their team. We got him! None of the other rushers are sure things either so it’s not like we passed up a sure thing.

    Also, I know it’s been said a lot already, but thanks a ton for the work you put into the player tape. Awesome stuff.

  35. Tarryhawk says:

    Didn’t Pete say he’ll be a 3 down guy in the interview? Could Clemens move from Leo? I tell you what: Clemens, Irvin and Jones on pass rush… sounds pretty good to me.

    On the Cards, Rams and 49ers picks…
    Cards: Scary duo in Arizona again with Floyd, he was my offensive pick for Seattle if they chose to go that way. Browner has to be physical with him at line and luckily it is his strength will be interesting
    Rams: I’ve never been a Brockers supporter, but I cant deny the potential. He could overpower some Guards and make things difficult… not the pick I thought the Rams would make but they have 2 early 2nd rounders to get WR and OT (Hill and Martin??)
    49ers: I’ll be honest, I never really looked at the kid so I can’t comment too much. Aparently has deep speed, going against our safetys and corners, I like our chances.

  36. Soggyblogger says:

    When I started studying profiles for this draft Irvin was rated a mid third rounder. By the time of the draft, he had moved up (DraftScout) to the early 2nd round, and rumors had begun saying one team had told Irvin he would be drafted in the last third of the first round. That got me worried because I wanted Irvin more than any other player. I was a bit shocked we did not take Cox rather than trade down. That says how much the Seahawks thought of Irvin. Better than Cox. Better than Coples. Better than Ingrham and Upshaw.

    The best part is his speed. But it is not just track speed. It’s playing speed. He plays super fast. He whizzes by on film. He comes off a block and accelerates towards the QB immediately. And he is essentially uncoached, but very coachable. I think he can even learn to drop back into coverage. Remember he played safety to begin with. I am stoked.

  37. JC says:

    Riddle me this, Batman. If Aldon Smith (7th overall) and Von Miller (2nd overall) can both be laudable “one trick pony” picks why isn’t Bruce Irvin? Because Kiper or McShay say so? Because he has a red flag for breaking a sign at a sandwich shop? Perhaps it’s time for evaluators or reevaluate how they evaluate.

  38. Phil says:

    I love this pick! Life is all about choices and the decisions you make. Sounds like Irvin has made his share of bad decisions, but he’s been able to take responsibility for them and seems to have turned his life around. Character is forged in the crucible of adversity and I think he will be a popular guy with the fans and in the locker room.

    Some random thoughts:

    Imagine how much better his speed rushing will be when the 12th man turns up the volume and he gets that extra split-second jump.

    From the tape, I’m impressed by how his presence on the field helps his teammates. Obviously, when teams double-team him, this leaves opportunities for others. I’d love to see him and Clemons on the field at the same time.

    One negative — when the play is away from him, he sometimes seems to let up a little. With his speed, there are plays where he could have ended up making the tackle if his pursuit was more intense.

    Hats off to Carroll and JS. They got their man and they got two more picks, too. Forget all this 20:20 hindsight about moving back further ..

  39. Chris says:

    “people say Bruce Irvin is a 1 Trick Pony. Maybe, but his trick is being a fly off the edge pass rusher in a draft that doesnt have those players. If a guy could only have 1 trick thats the 1 I want. ”

    Great comment. There was one thing I wanted out of round one, and that was a pass rusher. We got the best, bar none.

  40. Hawkfin says:

    I admire all you’re positive attitudes. I think it’s blinded good wishful thinking in my view though. But, I will also support him to the fullest now!

    I do love his speed. He’s the best for speed on the Def front end. That seems like the bottom line with this guy. They want speed, they got it. His 3 cone and 20 shuttle amazing. He’s every part of a speed “edge rusher” that I so wanted Whitney Mercilus for. I understand that as a big need. So I do get that part of it. I also wanted that.
    But, it should have been Whitney Mercilus. Houston got the best DE in the draft and just replaced M. Williams.
    Irvin is on the exiting side of things though at least with his speed. He is also a decent tackler so if he can transform into a OLB then it could work out a whole lot better even. And then move him around like this site was saying about Upshaw.

    But, that’s where it stops for me. I personally don’t just have him as a 2nd round grade. I had him like a 3rd or 4th at best. And that’s being nice about it.
    I’m sure Carrol will figure out how to use him at his best, but this guy in my view is an absolute 1 trick pony of every sense of the word. He’s got an outside rush that is far to wide to be anything special. He gets pushed out 10 yards out of the play. He gets stood straight up at least every other play by college kids and every game. He’s got no special moves, spins, bull rushes, etc. He’s not powerful enough like Von Miller was in college. Von Miller took blockers man up and was physical enough.
    Irvin uses speed and that’s it. Why not just get a fast safety and rush him then?

    He’s going to get tore up on run support and run right at. This is why they took him out a lot of times. I don’t see a position for him really other then 3rd down rusher or special teams player. It would be nice if he can turn into a LB as that might make him special, but he did nothing in that area so far. Maybe he can do it? I don’t know.
    But, I don’t see him EVER as a top tier DE. Maybe he’s the Leo like Clemmons some day or maybe he’s a bust. Either way, you do this later in my view. Far to much risk with reach all over the pick. Not just reach for where he’s drafted, but reach if this guy can even make a good pro on all 3 downs. When you’re picking at 12-15, I think you should be locking up and plugging in a 3 down starter. At least in the future.

    And didn’t people say folks were going to draft Carpenter too. Doesn’t mean squat to me.

    I do love the trade down!

    I’m actually on board for go getting Upshaw here in the 2nd now. It would make this pick feel better landing Upshaw in the 2nd. The two guy’s would make for a good combo also.

  41. peter says:

    Nice work as usual Rob calling out this guy so far in advance. I’m seeing Sanu in the future now….only since you started mentioning him way out before others moved up, down, over and around him. Kiper and McShay and the like, plus hawks fans would probably crap their pants if it was Sanu, but the guy does nearly everything right. Better separation then Williams, stronger after the catch then probably anyone on our team. Good size, toughness….

    Hawkfin-

    It truly doesn’t matter if he gets “tore up” in run situations. If Aldon Smith can go 7th overall, produce a whack ton of sacks on 1/3 of the down of Von Miller, then Irvin at 15 seems right in the wheelhouse of productivity. And what’s a top tier DE anyways….babin certainly wasn’t for years until he got to Philly….obviously most teams never thought Jared Allen was going to be the sh#t or he wouldn’t have been drafted so late.

  42. MeatWad says:

    I don’t care about internet comments either. Most of the time it comes from people that only know what the Kiper’s tell them, and if it isn’t on their first round draft board it is a bad pick. I was surprised with this pick and I had my pref who I was hoping but I know nothing compared to NFL f/o. If the Hawks had him as their guy, than he is the guy and I will support that, period. I remember seeing a couple games in 2011 and thinking wow. A few plays I imagined if he had a spin move on a couple of those plays he would have had more sacks added to his stats. For a guy with little pass rushing training he looked great, and given the training at the NFL level I have high hopes.

  43. Madmark says:

    I see the defensive front as 3man line with a LEO spot that does nothing but rush the passer. Irving is that LEO and a year being coached up and learning from Clemons I won’t be surprise if he beats Clemons 11 sacks a year and takes over next year like Kam did for Milloy. I’m hoping for Nigel Bradham being drafted to replace Hill’s WILL spot a year from now.

  44. A. Simmons says:

    You don’t wait until you need a Leo to draft one. Chris Clemmons is on the last year of his contract and is 31. You have his replacement ready to go. Gives you leverage in contract negotiations. And we all know Schneider and Pete plan for the future as well as the present.

    Hawkfin,

    Your arguments are the same ones I heard about Chris Clemmons. How did that work out? Were you right about him too? Has our run defense been compromised by playing an undersized defensive end? Gee. I didn’t notice. So I’m wondering why you think you’ll be right about Bruce Irvin?

    Bruce Irvin is a Leo. A pure greasy fast Leo. That’s how we rush the passer. We took the best Leo available in the draft rather than hoping Konz or Dexter Davis could develop into a Leo. I don’t see the problem. If more teams ran the scheme we do, Bruce Irvin would easily have been a top 5 pick. But we are the only team that runs our scheme, so he’s worth a top 15 pick easily to us.

  45. [...] “Irvin had a big impact as a specialist rusher in 2010, acting on third downs and recording 14 sacks after transferring as a JUCO prospect. In 2011, the Mountaineers attempted to turn him into an every down type player. In his first five games last season, he had just one sack. When he reverted back to a ‘specialist’ role, he notched 7.5 sacks in five games. Go figure.” — Rob Staton, Seahawks Draft Blog [...]

  46. BigPose says:

    Hawkfin

    Check out that Video against NC State and watch him literally MAN HANDLE the LT about 1 min in. Straight pushes the dude out his way on the way to the qb.

    If strenghth is measure in a bench press, he out benched Von as well

  47. BigPose says:

    I keep hearing the same thing about a 3 down starter, what position do we need this at???

    LB is really it but what LB spot with Hill and Rudd being here?

    What LB has been taken that represents an upgrade over what we just drafted in Irvin as a pure pass rusher?

    What is the issue with drafting someone who is light years above everybody else in the one aspect he excells at?

    This league is Pass driven, and we just took care of one major flaw to this team if Irvin becomes anything close to what Clemons has become.

  48. Ben2 says:

    Watched the Clemson game clips above and couldn’t believe how ill used Irvin was playing the line in a 3 man front like that…to his credit he battled each time but Pete will use him to much greater effect. Starting to like the pick…

  49. Ben2 says:

    I’m not betting against Irvin after watching some of the tape and reading some of the bio stuff! Bruuuuuuuuuce!

  50. BHL says:

    Rob you dog, you knew didn’t you.

  51. Ben2 says:

    Mind – yeah, like the last point. They viewed Irvin as THE pass rusher of this draft.

  52. Misfit74 says:

    This is what I said with regards to my Seattle-only mock draft back on March 29th ( http://www.fieldgulls.com/2012/3/29/2909849/2012-seattle-seahawks-mock-draft-by-misift74 ) and is really the crux of my arguments for a player other than the ones commonly discussed around here in Upshaw, Ingram, and Coples.

    “(My) Notes: Immediately provides an explosive and fast skill-set to compete at both Leo and OLB. A better value here than reaching for a pass-rusher at the top of a weak class of pass-rushers this year.”

    So while I was wrong in thinking Floyd and putting Irvin in round two, I’m really glad we drafted a player I had really high regard for. I wanted a high-upside player without some of the glaring flaws I saw in the common pass-rushers listed above. I couldn’t be more happy with Irvin as a solution to our pass-rushing problems. Irvin’s a SAVAGE. The value might not be what everyone expected in terms of where we drafted him but I’m totally fine with it. We didn’t settle for a sub-par, popular choice.

  53. [...] forget to check out my instant reaction to the Bruce Irvin pick from last night (click here) and also Kip’s analysis (click here) and preview for today (click [...]

  54. SeattleAztec says:

    Rob – Irvin is our LEO of the future. He’ll learn how to play it behind Clem, but will play more like Clay Matthews at USC. He could be rotated in on any given play and Carroll expects him to play 60-75% of snaps his rookie season.