Seahawks Insider

Carroll: Irvin the best pure pass rusher in the draft

Post by Eric Williams on April 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm with 41 Comments »
April 26, 2012 8:05 pm

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll wanted the best pass rusher in the draft, and he believes he got him in West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin.

At 6-3, 245 pounds, Irvin finished with 22.5 sacks in 26 games at West Virginia, including 14 in 2010. Irvin was an All-Big East Conference first-team selection by the league’s coaches as a senior.

Carroll said he recruited Irvin while at USC and developed a relationship with the 22-year-old from Atlanta, Ga.

“He’s a fantastic football player,” Carroll said. “He’s a great pass rusher. The speed that he brings is so unique and so rare. When he had his opportunities to show it in college, he came out as the best pass rusher in America. That’s something that we’re really excited about.

“The fact that I’ve known him for so long and have background with the kid – I know what he’s been through as John (Schneider) mentioned – I feel like we’ve got a guy that we had interest in from a lot of areas. This guy’s going to be a great asset to the program.”

Scheider talked about the process of moving down from the No. 12 pick to No. 15, with the Seahawks picking up a fourth and sixth-round pick from Philadelphia.

“We were extremely excited,” Seattle general manager John Schneider said. “We didn’t want to get too cute with it. Obviously we viewed him as the best pass rusher in the draft. … There was a certain we thought we could get to. And then we talked about going back again, but then we decided to just go ahead and lock it down.

“We had this guy rated as one of the top players in the draft.”

Carroll compared Irvin to Von Miller in terms of his get-off and ability to rush the passer. But he understands that Irvin is not a finished product, and will have to learn the different aspects of playing pass coverage.

Right now Irvin is penciled in as a backup Leo behind Chris Clemons and will line-up opposite Clemons on third down, similar to how Seattle used Raheem Brock last year.

Carroll said he plans on using Irvin the same way he used Clay Matthews at USC, as mostly a rusher who drops at times into coverage.

“He’s got extraordinary speed and tremendous flexibility,” Irvin said. “And great instincts, and a great motor – He has all of the things that make up a good pass rusher.”

Carroll also addressed Irvin’s off-the-field issues. Most recently, two months ago, the weekend after his pro day on March 16, Irvin was arrested for destruction of property and disorderly conduct after allegedly breaking a sign a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop in Morgantown.

Irvin said during an interview with him this evening that those charges were dropped.

Irvin was a high school drop out who spent two years out of high school and spent time in juvenile detention center before earning his GED in 2007.

Carroll said he recruited Irvin to USC out of Mt. San Antonio Junior College, but he couldn’t make it through admissions.

“We wanted him at SC, but just academically it didn’t work out quite well for us,” Carroll said. “The school is very difficult for JC transfers to get in. But he found a place at West Virginia.

“But it’s just been hard on him at times, and he had very little. And he’s with his family tonight, and he’s just as thrilled to be able to tell him that this is coming true.”

NFL Draft
Leave a comment Comments → 41
  1. JazBadAzz says:

    I love it! Now lets go get Lamar Miller or Janoris Jenkins with our 2nd pick!

  2. beavercleaver says:

    The Hawks do so well drafting in the 4th and 5th rounds that they take those players in the 1st too! Seriously Irvin is not a bad pick but he was a reach in the 1st round… by who, Kiper? Uhh… by everyone else but us! I’m not a hater, and hey Carroll has a plan, and he may lead us in sacks next year, but we could have had the guy in the 2nd round. period. The Hawks are better mid round drafters than 1st round drafters. …IMHO

  3. HawkfaninMT says:

    Upshaw in the 2nd make sense?

  4. This guy is gonna get the house rockin! Glad that Petey and the Schneid know what they want and get it. They said they wanted speed & to get a better rush off the edge. Well we got it.

    The only downer is that he was my 2nd round mock pick. Ooops.

  5. HawkfaninMT, no to Upshaw. But only because that would put you in a clear mock lead.

  6. princeaden says:

    OK Mr. Over reaction says “Let the Kid Get r done”!! Sorry for the “punch’em in the mouth” comment. My bad..

  7. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Funny how some say Irvin will be so good and yet never said nothing about him before we drafted him! Lol.

  8. HawkfaninMT says:

    Quit being so self centered Galena that is totally why I want Upshaw! … Not why, I manet NOT why! Stupid Freudian Slip!!

    I really could see him as a Pass Rusher from the Sam spot with Wright in the middle

  9. freedom_X says:

    To be honest, if someone said there was a 6’3″ 240lb pass rusher who ran 4.4 in the 40 and had the fastest 3-cone drill time of *anyone* at the combine, AND the guy produced big numbers at a Division 1 school – why weren’t we excited about a player like that?

    Because no “experts” said he should go?

    I’ve got the feeling that teams are being a lot tighter and sneakier about draft information than they used to be. Look, not even a Kiper or Mayock can possibly study every player in the draft to the depth a NFL scouting department can.

    How one person match 4-8 people doing this full time? So many of the draft experts also depend on collecting information from NFL contacts to set “value” and projections.

    My theory is that teams are not telling the whole truth anymore to outside contacts, and keeping some things very tight secrets. That’s why you have so many “surprise” picks as you did in this year’s draft.

    Well, at least I didn’t have to sit through “4 Stanford #1 picks in the draft” tripe…

  10. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Ok, I am starting to warm up to him, however I can’t believe how we,(including me), could be so far from even considering him as a top 15 pick.

  11. JazBadAzz says:

    This is the Biggest Fastest Team we ever had!

    GeorgiaHawk- I believe he was under the radar for some because of the off the field stuff, where he was drafted and the public not knowing what JS and PC want to do? Everything is a shot in the dark before the draft, its kinda impossible to know. No one talked much about him because all the media and bloggers kinda gravitated to the more televised players. We get some guys that live in the area and will throw it out there but I doubt anyone blogs here from WV… However the more thought I put into how he will be used and what we already have, the more I appreciate the great minds of our coach and staff!

    All the players that tweet loves it! They would know because they play the game, and they believe he is a straight up best! Particularly the DB’s, now they can get even more hands on the balls! #checktwitter

  12. Under-whelmed, who is this guy again. Would he of been there in the 2nd? I’m feeling like this is another Carpenter move. Is our FO trying to prove something to someone, it kinda seems that way, like hey, look who we grabbed that wasn’t on anyone’s radar.

  13. Dude, no players are going to say anythig negative, wow, our players are being positive.

  14. Hey little BEAVER HE WASN’T GETTING PAST HARBOUGH AT 30. I guarantee u that! Like I said earlier clay Mathews clone!CASE CLOSED! Happy to be a seahawk today! WHO IS J IRISH?U might be surprised!

  15. michael_shaw says:

    The knock on many of the other pass rushers in the draft was the lack of elite, explosive speed.

    Ingram is quick, but has short arms and was only a starter his senior year; Coples has length and the weight, but not the explosive speed and has a questionable motor; Upshaw (my favorite) is strong and has the a great motor, but has questionable hips and would not be able to bull rush NFL right tackles like he did in college. Jones did not have the quick jump and plays stiff …. Neither Perry or Mercilus has Irvin’s jump.

    This kid has that explosive speed, long arms and drive that is extremely rare. He’s a faster Clemons. I like this pick.

  16. Georgia we both love DeCastro but now that Irvin is a Hawk it’s time to drink the kool aid. He has a good chance of leading rookies in sacks next year.

    Rang wrote: “48. Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia: The NFL is a sucker for proven pass rushers and, frankly, so am I. There are plenty of red-flags with Irvin, not the least of which is his rough upbringing and the fact that at this point he provides little other than his ability to harass quarterbacks. Other than quarterbacks, however, there isn’t a position more valued in today’s NFL than pass-rushers and Irvin — due to his explosive burst and lateral agility — just might be the most gifted of this year’s class.”

    So he’s the best pass rusher yet the #48 ranked guy. Well, one way or another things will prove out for or against the pick but I’m pretty excited. Our main challenge on defense was getting off the field on 3rd down. Irvin will help get that accomplished.

  17. JazBadAzz says:

    His 6.7 second time in the 3-cone drill was the fastest for any player at the combine!

    If he gets at least 8 sacks, that justifies drafting him 15th. No one outside of Clemons had 3!

  18. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I can’t be against him because I know very little about him! And what bugs me is that I should know alot more about him because he grew up only about 25 miles from where I live!

    I feel like a fool not knowing more about Irvin. Lol. I sure hope this works out!

  19. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Galena- Yes we both love DeCastro, but of all places I don’t want him to land it would be the Stealers! But wouldn’t you know it.

  20. Good point GHAWK! u should no more about him and u should be proud!

  21. bsinnitt says:

    Wow, this guy’s video is impressive. Not much of a surprise in that Pete has said he wants players with unique ability. The film shows a very unique quickness and athleticism off the snap. Let’s also not forget the extra 4th and 6th, the last 2 drafts indicate we’ll also end up with another good player out of one of those picks.

  22. chuck_easton says:


    My first reaction was who??? But after hearing the kid talk and watching his video I think we just got a guy that has the drive to be great and the loyalty to Carroll that will pay immediate dividends.

  23. HeinieHunter says:

    The “experts” and talking heads laid out mock drafts daily and when anyone varies from the people on that list they are deemed crazy. A couple of years ago every one of them said Adam Curry was a “sure thing”, “best linebacker in the draft”, and “safest pick in the first round”. Yeah, right!
    Pete and John have seen talent that others have missed quite a few times so far. I’m willing to risk blowing a pick if it has as much upside as this kid seems to have.
    Maybe we all got our wish for a true pass rusher, and this is another “find” by our FO.

  24. Yeah, those were in the later, undrafted pool, no time to show off with the first pick.

  25. If this cat murders Qb’s, I guess I’ll feel a little bad for talkin’ shit. Oh well, hope he does.

  26. Macabrevity says:

    The guy was under the radar for me, and the name surprised me but I do love the pick. It makes so much sense.

  27. Chuck -Easton , I feel ya brother that’s exactly what is happening..BRUCE is an animal! He will blow our minds away with his dedication and never ending relentlessness and high speed Motor!The guys a freak of nature! The missing piece has arrived!0

  28. bbnate420 says:

    I like the pick. Kendricks/David and Turbin tomorrow and I’ll be a happy boy!

  29. First time poster, but LONG time reader. Got to say I love reading many of the posters comments on here. Hands down one of the best places to talk football.

    With that out that way, IMO since this kid flew under EVERYONE’S radar, I say it’s safe to say we’re all a little surprised about the pick. I don’t think we should be too worried though. If you look closely at the video of Pete talking, he’s calm, cool, and collected talking about the kid. Very informative on the kid, like he’s one of his own. The important thing is that PC knows this kid…I mean really KNOWS him. He’s not stuttering or anything (unlike the Carpenter pick). I think Pete knows a little something something on this one, unlike last year. Just my two cents.

  30. Agreed. I was furious last year (Carimi, Gabe). I was caught off-guard (DeCastro) this year, but still very happy.

  31. Nighthawk3 says:

    Pete Carroll is a joke. This franchise is a laughing stock because we’ve had powermongers like Bob Whitsett and Tim Ruskell fighting the head coach, two head coaches who can’t evaluate talent who were given that authority, and as a result we’ve had 4 straight losing seasons and looked like a high school JV team on the field. They’ve made this franchise a laughing stock. And yesterday it continued. Two years in a row Pete Carroll has blown the 1st round picks, and this one is not a reach, it’s a grab into the stratosphere. This might be only exceeded as the worst pick in franchise history only by Dan McGwire. Carroll has doomed us to 5-11 again, 6-10 at best, a 5th straight losing season and being seen as a joke of franchise with a joke of a head coach acting as the real GM. Pass rusher wasn’t even close to being our biggest need, middle line backer and guard are. Keuchly was gone, but DeCastro dropped into our lap not once (at 12) but twice (at 15), and this moron passed on him for a 3rd round rated “talent” who doesn’t fit a 4-3 and is only a 3-4 rush linebacker (are we going to a 3-4 and no one told me?); who’s a criminal and has two years of college football. And we took him as the 15th overall pick. If there was any doubt why Carroll failed twice in the NFL before this, all doubt was removed yesterday. I was just physically sick at this pick. Carroll will be fired after this seaosn, and he go back to cheating at college football, and it will be 5 years before we see a winning record. Way to screw up some golden opportunities Pete, not only do you screw up the team in free agency by letting your assistants bring in their washed up and never was cronies as free agents, you blow the 1st round pick two years in a row (maybe three in a row, considering that our left tackle can’t stay on the field and has yet to have a full season playing). This is what Walter Football said about our pick, and I couldn’t agree more:

    Seattle Seahawks (Last Year: 7-9)

    2012 NFL Draft Individual Grades:

    Wow!!! What the hell are the Seahawks doing? You pick one-trick ponies in the third or fourth round. And you pick one-trick ponies who get arrested for robbery and defacing public property in the sixth or seventh round. Did Seattle write the wrong name down on the card? If they did mean to pick him, did they even watch him on tape? He’s an athlete playing football. This is one of the worst draft picks of all time.

  32. The way I see it is this: Seahawks had the 12th pick and could have really reached for him, but instead turned that pick into “the most explosive pass rusher” in the draft, and more depending on who they draft in the 4th and 6th. With they’re ability to find diamonds in the rough, we might be talking for a while about how much we really got for 12. I’m excited though, this kid really is Bruce Almighty!

  33. yellaman says:

    Nighthawk3 just chill this isn’t the worst pick of all time for hawks we don’t need to go down the list but it is long. So nighthawk what is the hawks most glaring need? It’s a pass rusher anf Irvin fits the bill now gettinv him at #15 might be a stretch but who knows if he would have been available later so lets wait and see before we pass judgement

  34. Nighthawk–Dude, youre really out there this time. I wasnt happy to see DeCastro and Floyd passed over, especially since they both ended up on teams I REALLy detest. But Bruce Irvin fits the Leo mold perfectly, and is supposed to be the best pass rusher available. MANY teams had him graded as first round talent, and supposedly AT LEAST five had him rated in the top 10. The Ravens were gonna trade up to get him or take him at thier spot, its reported they were likely the team that flew him in and told him they were gonna take him.

    Even Pro Football Talk reported this stuff, and Florio hates Carrol and Seattle with a passion bordering on psychosis. You think he’d miss a chance to dis Seattle and Carrol?! No way, he knows damn well this guy was rated highly by many teams, and they all kept it quiet.

    Walter Football is often flat wrong, but boy are they funny sometimes!

    I saw multiple scouting sites/draftniks that had him going in the early to mid 20’s just a few days ago, and many said he was the best pure pass rusher in the draft. Too many people just missed him.

    One more thing; saying pass rushing DE wasnt a huge need for us, and that MLB and G are bigger needs is utterly laughable. I dont think much of Ruud either, but Wright is fine at MLB on running downs, Ruud is fine on passing downs, there are gonna be very good LB’s available this year in the second and third round, and the same with G’s. A Pass-rushing DE was a MAJOR need, the biggest and most urgent. Obviously Carrol and Schneider thought that too.

    Brock is utterly DONE. Wilkerson is one injury from retirement, and Davis and Konz have shown nothing but injury magnetism. We have no one outside Clemons,and he’s about to be a FA and turn old at the same time. Its a perfect time to get a DE to learn behind him and rush from LDE on third downs, especially with all the talent at LB/G/WR/RB in the second and third round.

    DAMN, I sure wish Seattle had two picks in the second and two in the third round, this years draft appears to be LOADED in those rounds!

  35. Top 15, not top10. Der!

  36. I also think its really cool that Carrol seems so excited to give this kid the chance to take care of his family, since he’s gonna get a nice contract. Sounds like he had it really rough growing up, and is still working through some serious problems. Im rooting for the kid hard. I hope it works out great for both him and the team

  37. “I also think its really cool that Carrol seems so excited to give this kid the chance to take care of his family, since he’s gonna get a nice contract. Sounds like he had it really rough growing up, and is still working through some serious problems. Im rooting for the kid hard. I hope it works out great for both him and the team.”

    Agree with all of that.

    And I can’t recall a positive post from Nighthawk. The cup can’t always be half-empty.

  38. HawkyHann says:

    Lets hope the fellow ATL native- Leroy Hill, is not this kids mentor. He needs to be hanging with KJ Wright.

  39. I’m trying to figure out who is more of a moron nightgawk3 or matt millen (debatable)!

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