The fact that I’ve spent the last two hours talking about Bruce Irvin, and each time I’ve mentioned him, had to ask for either his first or last name, tells you everything you need to know about this latest first round pick by the Seahawks.
Pete Carroll and John Schneider have hung their hat on talent evaluation, especially when drafting players. But with David DeCastro, Melvin Ingram, and Quinton Coples still on the board, it’s hard to imagine Seattle couldn’t have traded back and picked up more picks, or even taken Irvin in the second round.
As critical as I am at first blush of this LEO LB/DE hybrid from West Virginia, I’m not paid to make these decisions. Carroll and Schneider are. It’s hard to ignore the fact, however, that Irvin has a criminal record; he robbed a drug dealer. I guess we finally got the dirtbag Jim Mora was looking for. So, once again, instead of going the ‘proven’ route, taking a player in the first round that pundits and analysts have pegged to be successful players, Seattle has chosen a far less known name. Will it pan out? We hope so. But right now, it’s hard to see how this pick gives the Seahawks any kind of value at pick number fifteen.
Boy. I remember being uninspired by James Carpenter last year. I was never busier than I was during draft season last year, and it was the first year in several that I didn’t make a mock draft for any outlet of any kind. But damn. Bruce Irvin? I had him rated as a late-second or early-third round pick.
I was really excited to analyze the Seahawks taking David DeCastro or Cordy Glenn. Or Quinton Coples. Or Chandler Jones. Or Stephen Hill. Or Riley Rieff. Or anyone not named Bruce Irvin. Irvin is a really terrible value here, and while he’ll be able to function well in the LEO position that the Seahawks employ on their defensive line, that is more a product of the scheme marginalizing the position rather than elite talent. Bruce Irvin is the criminal version of Aaron Maybin.
I was really skeptical of this pick at first until I read about him. He is incredibly athletic, fast off the edge and has the potential to become dominant rushing the passer. If not for old character concerns it would have been no surprise he was taken 15th overall. In fact, Pete Carroll himself suggested that the Jets were going to nab him with the very next pick.
I am very trustful of the regime in terms of homework they do on these kids, and Carroll has had a relationship with Irvin dating back to trying to recruit him to USC. If anybody is going to coach the kid up and get the kid right I trust our staff to do it.
This is a definite wait and see but we have to understand that it fits a need. Carroll and staff hope that Irvin can play anywhere from 500 to 700 defensive snaps this year from 1st to 3rd down in different roles. The most intriguing role of course will be rushing the passer in third down passing situations. Bruce bursts off the edge with close to 4.4 speed and is relentless in his pursuit of the ball carrier. I have faith that with coaching and refining that he can grow in to a role defending the run as well.
This pick is very similar to Carpenter last year in shock value but I love that this regime targets a kid that they like and gets that kid. They deserve the benefit of my doubt until proven otherwise considering how amazing the draft last year worked out for us. If Irvin works out he is a speed rusher dominant on third down passing situations and allows us to bring pressure off of both edges. That is definitely what this defense is missing in terms of becoming a very good defense.