SEATTLE — After trading down from 12 to 15 overall and picking up a fourth and six-round pick in the process the Seattle Seahawks made a jaw-dropping selection with their first round pick. Bruce Irvin, outside linebacker, West Virginia. The first thought is who?
Irvin, a senior with quite possibly the best true pass-rushing ability in the 2012 NFL draft was graded as a second-round pick at best due to his questionable past and not being an every down player. At 6-feet-3 245-pounds Irvin recorded 8.5 sacks this past season in a limited roll.
He has the ideal size to be a dominant pass-rusher however he’s best used as a situational pass-rusher ala Aldon Smith who was drafted seventh overall last year by division rival San Francisco.
Irvin’s questionable past is well documented starting in 2007 when he dropped out of Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia because his grades weren’t high enough to continue playing football. He would go on to eventually earn his general education degree (GED) after being kicked out of his mothers home and enrolled at Mt. San Antonio Junior College after a short stint at Butler community college.
Irvin would go on to become a first team All-American and was the all-California Region III player of the year in 2009 for Mt. San Antonio. In 2010 he transferred to West Virginia and excelled immediately finishing second in the nation in sacks with 14.
For Irvin, the raw talent and electric skills on the field have always been there. What has been touch-and-go is his off the field problems. Head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider apparently were confident enough to let the past go and fill their biggest need, a dominant pass rusher.
Chris Clemons has led the team in sacks over the past two years and the next closest player hasn’t had more than four sacks. Clemons has had ten in back-to-back seasons.
With local product David DeCastro and South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram still on the board it’s a risky move given his past, and selective ability.
The last player out of West Virginia to be selected in the first round….Adam “Pacman” Jones.
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