- Rich Cimini, ESPN Staff Writer
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Interesting nugget from Len Pasquarelli of The Sports Xchange. Writing about the Seahawks' widely criticized first-round pick -- West Virginia DE/OLB Bruce Irvin -- Pasquarelli reports that the Jets, picking one spot after the Seahawks, wanted Irvin. Check out these two graphs from the report:
Less than five minutes after the Seahawks plucked Irvin, with a pick that surprised many pundits, the telephone rang in the Seattle "war room." On the other end was a Jets' official, good-naturedly cursing a Seahawks' counterpart for having chosen the prospect New York planned to grab one pick later. San Francisco dispatched an assistant coach to meet with, and work out, Irvin two days before the draft. One of the teams intrigued by Irvin phoned him the week before the draft to indicate its interest in him.
The momentum elevating Irvin -- a former high school dropout, who served time in a juvenile correctional facility, obtained his GED, and played at Mt. San Antonio Junior College before starring at WVU for two seasons and registering 14 sacks (including 16 in 2010) -- pretty much flew under the radar of many draft analysts.
We all know how it turned out. The Jets picked North Carolina DE Quinton Coples at 16. Soon after he was chosen, Coples told reporters Rex Ryan had promised him that he'd be be their pick at 16. Actually, it's not unusual for team officials to tell players, "You're our guy." In this scenario, that may have been stretching the truth. As we reported the night of the first round, the Jets tried to trade out of the 16th spot, but couldn't find any takers. A picture is starting to develop, isn't it?
2hField Yates and Rich Cimini