Seahawks 1st Round Draft Pick Bruce Irvin: What They’re Saying

The Seahawks site is all Irvin today. (Image:

The Seahawks threw fans a curveball last night, drafting West Virginia pass-rushing specialist Bruce Irvin. The Georgia-born Irvin, who some draft experts had as a fourth-round pick, was a high-school dropout living on a drug dealer’s couch four years ago before dedicating himself to football, convincing his working-class family to pool money to pay his junior college tuition, and eventually getting to West Virginia, where he recorded 22.5 sacks in two seasons. Here’s what Irvin, Seahawks leadership, NFL cognoscenti and fans are saying about the pick.

“I love eating quarterbacks.” — Bruce Irvin

“He immediately is a third-down rusher. He’s got extraordinary speed. This is the kind of guy who puts fear into offensive linemen. I’m really pumped about this.” — Pete Carroll

“We viewed him as the best pass-rusher in the draft.” — John Schneider

“Ever since I’ve been in coaching, we’ve been looking for a guy like this. This is the fastest guy that you could hope to get to play this position.” — Carroll

“We didn’t want to get too cute, this guy is too special of a football player. This guy comes off the ball like Dwight Freeney and Von Miller and Jevon Kearse.” — Schneider

“I will work my butt off and the rest will take care itself. #12thman I won’t let you down I promise!” Irvin, via Twitter

“We had to sleep on the floor sometimes. You had creatures living with you sometimes. You get depressed about the money situation. We had only two meals per day. I was out in California by myself with no relatives, and I got depressed a lot of the time.” — Irvin on his junior college experience

Bruce Irvin
“At least seven teams had Irvin rated as one of the top 15 players available in the draft.” — Mike Florio, National Football Post

“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.” —

“Two years in a row now Seattle has taken a player in Round 1 who I think they could have gotten perhaps 10 to 15 slots lower on the board. So again, it’s not that Irvin can’t be successful. It’s that Seattle might still have Irvin today but perhaps an added pick or two this year or next if they managed to move down.” — Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN

“A move like Irvin is surprising, but not without recent precedent. As the league shifts toward the pass, expect defensive priorities to shift with it.” — Brandon Adams, 17 Power

“Irvin is RG3 the pass rusher. He’s got 10-15 sack a year potential, but he’s got more red flags than any pass rusher in the draft. He’s boom or bust to the extreme.” — Kip Earlywine, Seahawks Draft Blog

“Irvin had a big impact as a specialist rusher in 2010, acting on third downs and recording 14 sacks after transferring as a JUCO prospect. In 2011, the Mountaineers attempted to turn him into an every down type player. In his first five games last season, he had just one sack. When he reverted back to a ‘specialist’ role, he notched 7.5 sacks in five games. Go figure.” — Rob Staton, Seahawks Draft Blog

“Irvin brings ridiculous raw athleticism for Pete Carroll to use on third downs and in obvious passing situations. On 3rd down and 8, when the defense needs to get off the field having a front four of Chris Clemons, Jason Jones, Brandon Mebane and Bruce Irvin, for example, is certainly an intriguing prospect.” — Danny Kelly, Field Gulls

“Imagine putting Irvin on the end opposite of Clemons. Consider how edgy tackles will feel when the CenturyLink Field crowd is all-out seismic and a guy who can run a 4.4 40 is flinching across from them.” — Dave Boling, Tacoma News Tribune

“shocked with this pick at first but after reading your story out of all the kids in this draft the Seahawks landed a man.” — @deanforbes10

“Been watchin @BIrvin_WVU11 youtube on bus ride to work. QBs gonna be seeing dirt or throwin picks with our complete D now!” — @HawksBum

“12th man last night: ‘Who? What the hell?! WHY??’ This morning: ‘The Hawks just drafted Jevon Kearse, bro.'” — @ShaunDolence

Irvin’s junior-year highlights (NSFW language):