Written by Kip Earlywine
Man, I don’t even know where to begin.
I love this pick. I love, love, love this pick, in the sense that, had we added him at #75, I’d have been all over it. If it had happened #43, I would have been completely supportive. But at #15? Man, I’m not even sure how I should feel. It’s complicated.
I actually watched this draft at Big Al’s in Vancouver. I showed up 90 minutes early to grab the best seat. Portland’s top sports station, 1080 the fan, was doing a live draft party there. When I first got there, the place was almost totally empty, but Isaac and Big Suke were right there doing their broadcast about 75 feet away from me. I almost walked up to them just so I could impress them by calling Courtney Upshaw at #12 an hour before the draft had even started, but something held me back. I was SURE that Upshaw was going to the pick, I would have bet everything I owned on it. But I decided not to because I didn’t want them to think I was some pompous ass. Obviously, I made the right call by staying put, and not for the reason I had anticipated.
As the draft got closer, the place quickly became packed, and a lot of different teams were represented. There was still a pretty strong number of Seahawks fans though. When the 15th pick signaled “the pick is in” and Goodell approached the podium, there was a small uproar of clapping, cheering and excitement. Then the name “Bruce Irvin” was read. The room went completely quiet. I’ll never forget that moment.
As far as Irvin goes, man, this pick makes me feel so confused emotionally. I’d use this analogy for those that follow the Mariners at USSMariner. A few years back, Dave Cameron wrote his popular offseason plan just before that offseason began. Part of that plan highlighted Miguel Batista as a good free agent pitching signing. Then the offseason began, and the Mariners went out and signed Miguel Batista… for about triple the amount of money Cameron thought Batista was going to get. Suddenly Cameron had no idea how to react, because the Mariners had targeted a player he liked, but paid way too much in doing so.
That’s pretty much exactly how I feel about Bruce Irvin at #15. Not because Irvin can’t justify such lofty draft position, but because it at least feels like they could have had him so much later. I didn’t see a single mock that had Irvin anywhere in the first round, and I only saw a few that had him going in the 2nd. Most people had Irvin graded in the rounds three to four region.
That said, if you take draft stock out of the equation, there were just two players in the draft that I badly wanted to be Seahawks. Those two players? Russell Wilson and Bruce Irvin. I’ve been saying for a while, not here but on message boards, that I badly wanted to see the Seahawks pull some strings and find a way to get Irvin and or Wilson in the mid rounds somehow. So while I’m not crazy about the price tag, I couldn’t be happier that we got the player we did. I’m going to laugh if Seattle goes and takes Russell Wilson in the 2nd round, that is if my head doesn’t explode first.
I talked before about how I had a bit of a “curse” going with highlighting Seahawks options and how the front office always seemed to avoid those players. In 2010, I covered fifty or sixty likely options, and only one was drafted by Seattle. Last year I covered a dozen or so “Tom Cable” prospects- none of them were named James Carpenter or John Moffitt. This year I covered a ton of running backs, quarterbacks, and linebackers. There were only three other players from any other position that I covered in my scouting reports series. Those three players were Michael Egnew, Jonathan Massaqoui, and, would you believe it, Bruce Irvin. What a weird way for the curse to reverse itself.
Anyway, if you missed it, you can read my scouting report on Irvin from the link in the previous paragraph. One person compared him to Rufus Porter, a Seahawk from the late 80s and early 90s that for a brief time was an undersized sack machine for us. To me, Irvin is RG3 the pass rusher. He’s got 10-15 sack a year potential, but he’s got more red flags than any pass rusher in the draft. He’s boom or bust to the extreme. Maybe I’ll have more to say about him later, but if nothing else, I’ll end this for now by saying that Irvin is going to be a very exciting player to watch the next few years.
I actually have a lot more thoughts on this. I might have a larger post about day 1 of the draft later tonight.