The Seattle Seahawks traded down in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft on Thursday, swapping with the Philadelphia Eagles and picking up an extra two draft picks in the process. In moving from No. 12 to No. 15 overall, the Seahawks then made a fairly curious selection as their first-round pick, picking West Virginia Mountaineers defensive end Bruce Irvin.
Irvin was a name that had not really been tied to the Seahawks and, in a round of many unexpected picks, stands out as being particularly unusual. Irvin is not a bad pick by any means -- in fact, he's a very good pick -- but he lacks name power, star power and the excitement of a "bigger" name selection.
Bruce Irvin is all about speed and suddenness with the ability to create a ton of pressure. He possesses an explosive first step that allows him to get up field and threaten the edge. However, it is his non-stop motor that really makes him dangerous as he never stops pursing the football. Offensive tackles really struggle to protect the edge against Irvin because of his quickness off the football.
Creating pressure is important but you need to be a complete player to really make an impact in the NFL. Irvin needs to spend time adding bulk and strength to his frame. His ability to improve his run defense will go along way to improve his draft stock. Irvin will also need to spend time learning the ins and outs of pass coverage as he is rarely asked to drop.
Overall, Irvin has all the physical tools to be a dominant pass rusher in the NFL. He is athletic enough to make the adjustment from defensive end to outside linebacker. Improving his run defense and adding some new pass rush moves will be something evaluators look for this season.
Seahawks fans, don't hate this move yet. This may just be your favorite player in a couple of years.