When the Seattle Seahawks drafted former WVU standout Bruce Irvin with the 15th Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Mountaineer fans cheered loudly while pundits criticized Pete Carroll for the pick. Many people believed that Irvin should have been drafted near the end of the first round or second.
Carroll has a history of making unconventional draft picks, but he knows what type of player fit his offensive and defensive systems. Carroll recruited Irvin while he was played in junior college. It gave the then USC coach a chance to size up Irvin and see first-hand and be sure that Irvin’s rough past was, just that, in the past.
For Carroll and the Seahawks to be exonerated, Irvin needs to be put in a position where he can be a key contributor on the Seahawks defense immediately. We told you a few weeks ago how Irvin performed at the rookie camp put on by Seattle after the draft. In that camp, Irvin was regularly in the offensive backfield, and could have sacked rookie Russell Wilson many times had he not worn the protective red jersey.
Now Irvin gets his chance to show what he is capable of for the first time with his entire new team. The player Bruce Irvin could eventually replace is Chris Clemons. The offseason OTA’s are voluntary for players, and Clemons was not present for the practice session open to the media.
This season, Irvin is expected to fill the role vacated by Raheem Brock. That is, as a backup at defensive end and a regular on passing third-downs. Very similar to the role Irvin played his first season at WVU.
The reports show that Irvin has been very fast off the edge, often changing direction so quickly that it leaves offensive linemen off-balance. Irvin has had an opportunity in Clemons’ absence to receive snaps with the first team defense.
Clemons is going into the last year of his contract and has started the last two seasons for Seattle. He is 30-years-old.
Irvin compares himself to Von Miller. Miller was the #2 overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft and went on to have a great rookie season. He recorded 11.5 sacks and 64 tackles. The team believes Irvin could be that productive whether he starts or not.
“Von Miller’s my man,” Irvin said following practice on Wednesday.
“I study a lot of tape on Von Miller. I think we have a lot of similar traits and hopefully I can be just as successful as he was his rookie year.”
What type of season do you think Irvin will have for the Seahawks?