At the beginning of the week, we gave you four different NFL Training Camp previews on Mountaineers in the NFL. We gave you a preview on Mountaineers in the NFC on Wednesday, but we left out one player on purpose. Bruce Irvin will potentially be the most talked about Mountaineers in the NFL this season.
The Seattle Seahawks selected Irvin 15th in April’s NFL Draft. Most Draft projections had Irvin getting selected in the 2nd – 4th Round. We thought he would get selected at the end of the 1st Round by San Francisco (we were correct as it turned out).
Because Seattle drafted Irvin 15th, the team and Irvin will be highly scrutinized. Expectations are high for Irvin. He was the first defensive end taken in the Draft. He gets favorable comparisons to Von Miller of Denver and Aldon Smith of San Francisco.
Throughout the offseason, Irvin had a chance to play with the first-string defense while Chris Clemons held out with a contract dispute. He will play in the Leo position and will likely be a situational pass-rusher as he was in his first season at WVU. Sometimes, the Seahawks will have Irvin drop back in pass coverage. He wasn’t known for that at WVU, but he played safety in junior college.
His speed and work ethic “opened eyes”during Seahawks OTA’s. He routinely sped past experienced offensive linemen on his way to the quarterback.
“A lot of people thought he’d be a one-trick pony – just a pure speed edge rusher,” Pro Football Weekly wrote. “You can’t help but notice his speed and explosiveness right off the bat. But he’s already shown that there’s more to his game.”
“One particularly striking example in a late-May OTA was the eye-popping countermove the sleek Irvin put on Breno Giacomini that literally floored the massive tackle. “It was really something to see; it made an instant impression,” the observer said.”
Had Clemons continued to hold out, Irvin would likely have started for the Seahawks in Week 1. Clemons reached a multi-year extension with the team earlier this week and will be back in the fold for the start of Seahawks training camp.
Irvin is okay with that. He wants the experience of learning behind Clemons. Clemons has been noted in the past for taking younger players under his wing. Irvin understands he has a lot to learn.
With Clemons back, Irvin will likely lineup opposite of Clemons on passing downs. His job will be to rush the passer and chase down running backs.
Clemons will not likely be in great shape coming into training camp. In camp and the preseason, Irvin will get most of the action.
The Seahawks first preseason game is Sat. August 11 against Tennessee.