Get to know Bruce Irvin
The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft is in the books. The Seattle Seahawks made it an interesting day, to say the least. With all the anxiety coming into the draft, the team held their cards close and did not give away their hand. When the time finally came for the 12th pick in the draft, the Seahawks traded it to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Seahawks moved back 3 spots to 15th overall as well as acquiring a 4th round (114th) and 6th round (172nd) in the process.
With the 15th pick in the first round, the Seahawks chose Bruce Irvin OLB/DE – West Virginia.
Irvin is definitely an off the board guy…to the fans. Pete Carroll and John Schneider were both very high on the guy. He possesses exceptional speed and can get really low to make plays. He uses his hands well – if he gets his hands on you, you’re going down.
He is a high energy pass rusher who excelled at both DE and OLB.
He is also strong and has good push off the line due to his years as a WR in high school.
On video, he overpowers the guy on the end and slips past backfield blockers. He pushes lineman backwards and keeps them on their heels instead of their toes.
He says he is a self-taught pass rusher, so it is a scary thought to think what happens when a coach teaches him the pass rush. He says he loves to eat quarterbacks.
Those are all things we should love to hear as the Seahawks now have a guy to go alongside Chris Clemons or blitz from his linebacker spot.
The only 2 things I see that could be concerning: he makes a LOT of hand tackles and doesn’t put pads on players on a lot of his tackles and he also jumps on a lot of quarterbacks instead of hitting them.
This guy is a beast.
He fits Pete and John’s profile for a player to a “T.”
This shouldn’t be as surprising as it initially was.
Here’s a closer look at Seahawks first round draft pick LB/DE Bruce Irvin, Senior, West Virginia.
Here’s the pick
Pete Carroll’s Thoughts
“We Knew him very well from the time he went to Mt San Antonio College (SAC). I’ve known this guy a very long time.” “He is a fantastic football player. He is a great pass rusher.
The speed that he brings is so unique and so rare.” “Ever since I’ve been in coaching, I’ve been looking for a guy like this.”
Pete Carroll knows Irvin well. Carroll was recruiting him out of Mt SAC college in California, in the backyard of USC. Irvin instead chose to go to West Virginia and became the dominant passer Carroll knew he would develop into.
Irvin said of his relationship with Carroll after all of this that it was more than coach and player, it was more like a friendship.
Carroll said he would play LEO and that he would be used as a hybrid DE/LB similar to how he used Clay Matthews at USC.
John Schneider’s Thoughts
“Viewed him as best pass rusher in the draft.” “Trying to add that to the team, team speed.” “Had this guy rated as one of the top players in the draft.”
At least 7 teams had Bruce Irvin ranked in the top 15 and as the best pass rusher in the draft. If that’s the case, the Seahawks just strengthened 2 positions at once who can fit multiple schemes and formations.
The fact that he didn’t play every down helps because he is more fresh then most who already took the beatings on every down.
His senior season of 2011 was a slow year for Irvin as he flew under the radar with his 40 tackles (14.5 for loss), 8 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles.
His junior season in 2010 saw him get 21 tackles (14 for loss), 14 sacks, a pass deflected and 2 forced fumbles.
The fact remains: he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s athletic. Exactly what the Seahawks were looking for.