04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Seahawks' picks: Round 1/15 - Bruce Irvin, DE, 6-3, 248, West Virginia...League observers believe Seattle reached by taking Irvin here, but the Seahawks say they've got the best pass rusher in the draft. QUOTE TO NOTE: "The Lord knew it was all B.S., and he took care of it." -- Seahawks defensive end Bruce Irvin, addressing the latest incident he had in March back in Morgantown, West Virginia for disorderly conduct. Irvin said he recently got the charges dropped. - The Sports Xchange
After being academically ineligible to play high school football and serving a stint in juvenile jail, Irvin completed his GED in December 2007 and got a chance at Mt. San Antonio Junior College for the 2009 season. Irvin was late arriving to campus, so the team played him as an undersized defensive end. He garnered first-team All-America status (72 tackles, 21 for loss, and 16 sacks) in that role. The Mountaineers also charged him which chasing the passer, which led to a second-team All-Big East campaign in 2010 (14 sacks, ranked second in the nation) and first-team selection in 2011. Despite his lack of experience, Irvin's athleticism and toughness should give him a chance to be a pass rusher as a 3-4 linebacker at the next level, or possibly a defensive end for the handful of NFL 4-3 teams not minding his lack of size. If he answers questions about his past to NFL scouts' satisfaction, they may decide to take a chance on his potential in either role with an early-round selection.
Read and react: Has natural instincts for defense despite his lack of experience, though he is obviously still learning. Finds the ball regularly and has the change of direction ability to get to it.
Run defense: Gives some effort to chase down running backs. Miscast as a hand-down player and played mostly in passing situations, but has some fair strength for his size and does not break down easily against the run. At linebacker, he should have no problems getting off tight end blocks to contain against the run.
Pass defense: Limited experience dropping into coverage, as he was primarily used as a pass rush specialist. Has change-of-direction skills and hustle to track down ball carriers in the open field, but will need to learn how to handle coverage responsibilities.
Tackling: Strong wrap tackler who can dislodge the ball with power and goes for the strip if his target is holding the ball low or loose. Brings down quarterbacks much bigger than he is. Very good motor and regularly chases down plays from behind. Used on special-teams coverage units because of his tenacity and speed.
Pass Rush/Blitz: Best attribute. Extreme quickness off the edge, has flexibility to turn the corner. Shows toughness to get under the pads of tackles to bull them, club them upfield to get the inside lane, or fight through blocks for secondary rush when passer steps up. Keeps feet moving after initial contact. Jumps inside as a counter to typical rush, but needs to show a larger variety of moves. Gets pressures on inside stunts and was too explosive for college guards to handle.
Intangibles: Tough player who gets up from being planted and comes hard on the next play. Comes from rough background and almost threw away his talent but earned GED, walked onto junior-college team and continues to work hard towards his goal of playing in the NFL.