By Brady Henderson
The Seahawks have selected defensive end Bruce Irvin from West Virginia with the 15th overall pick, which Seattle acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The selection addresses Seattle’s need for a pass-rusher after finishing last season with just 33 sacks. Irvin racked up 22.5 sacks in 26 career games at West Virginia, including eight as a senior last season.
“I love eating quarterbacks,” Irvin said in a conference call.
Listed at 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, Irvin ran the 40-yard dash at the combine in 4.50 seconds, which was faster than any defensive end.
Carroll said Irvin will play the “Leo” position in Seattle’s defense, the same role Chris Clemons has filled the last two seasons. Carroll repeatedly used words like “rare” and “unique” to describe Irvin’s speed, saying that he has run a sub-4.4 40-yard dash.
The scouting report on Irvin courtesy of STATS LLC reads, in part: “He doesn’t have much experience stopping the run, and he’d likely need to add significant weight to be an every-down player in the front seven. Irvin’s tremendous speed and athleticism, though, give him a great chance to make an immediate impact on passing downs at the next level, and he looks like an attractive early-round option for a club emphasizing increased pressure on opposing quarterbacks.”
Schneider said the team viewed Irvin as the best pass-rusher in the draft. Irvin was the first defensive end taken.
He said he was surprised to be taken with the 15th pick — partly because he hadn’t met with the Seahawks since the combine — and that he expected to go somewhere near the end of the first round. He said he was grateful that the Seahawks were willing to look past “all the negative stuff” — referring to the off-field problems he had both recently and before college.
Irvin dropped out of high school and spent time in a juvenile detention center before earning his GED and then attending Mt. San Antonio Junior College in Walnut, Calif. He was arrested last month for destruction of property and disorderly conduct after he allegedly broke a sign at a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop in Morgantown, W.V.
Irvin said he had his most recent charges dismissed.
“There’s certain things that are very impressive to us, and one of the primary things when you’re looking at something like this is what has the guy had to overcome in his life? We’re talking about building character and toughness and that sort of thing. This guy’s had a rough story, there’s no doubt about it.”
Carroll had recruited Irvin when he was coaching at USC and Irvin was in junior college.
“I’ve known this guy for a long time,” he said.
In their trade with the Eagles, the Seahawks moved back three spots from No. 12 and also received Philadelphia’s fourth- and sixth-round picks, Nos. 114 and 172 overall. The Seahawks have seven selections remaining.