Did Seahawks pre-empt the 49ers' choice?

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
2:45
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Jerry from Benicia, Calif., thought the Seattle Seahawks might have drafted Bruce Irvin a little earlier than anticipated in part because they feared division-rival San Francisco might take him later in the round.

"People say, 'Well, Irvin will be a third-down man only,'" Jerry writes. "I remember Fred Dean. That was his M.O.

"Whether or not Seattle stretched a little on this pick," Jerry continued, "I think the real reason they didn't care is that their No. 1 competitor in the division was considering Irvin, and if the 49ers got him, how could Seattle hold off Aldon Smith and Irvin from both ends?"

Mike Sando: One week before the draft, Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee did identify Irvin as a potential person of interest for the 49ers in the first round.

"What's unknown," Barrows wrote at the time, "is how the 49ers interpret someone like Irvin, who has gotten in a scrape or two -- he had two stints in jail before the March incident -- but who also has overcome a very difficult upbringing."

The Seahawks were worried about losing Irvin to teams selecting before San Francisco was scheduled to be on the clock at No. 30. They thought the New York Jets were a strong possibility to select Irvin at No. 16.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider indicated the team had three players remaining on its short list when Seattle traded back three spots to No. 15, and that two of those players were gone when the team decided to select Irvin.

Fletcher Cox and Michael Brockers were the defensive players taken at Nos. 12 and 14, respectively. I think those were the players, along with Irvin, that Seattle had in mind once the first 11 players were drafted. Receiver Michael Floyd, chosen 13th overall by Arizona, was the other player drafted in that window.

Schneider said there wasn't much chatter about Irvin leading up to the draft, and it made him nervous.

After the draft, Barrows wrote that the 49ers obviously wanted to help their pass rush in the draft, noting that outside linebacker was the only position at which the team drafted two players, getting Darius Fleming in the fifth round and Cam Johnson in the seventh.

As for Irvin projecting as only a third-down player, that perception is premature.

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