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Thursday, April 26, 2012
What Seahawks are thinking with Irvin

By Mike Sando

RENTON, Wash. -- The 15th overall choice marked that point in the 2012 NFL draft when a team's selection sent me diving into a draft guide to find out more about the latest selection.

Irvin
Bruce Irvin? Yes, Bruce Irvin.

Never mind that my preferred draft guide, the one Pro Football Weekly publishes each season, listed Irvin as a likely third- or fourth-round selection. The Seahawks made him the 15th overall choice with an eye toward developing him into the "Leo" role currently inhabited by Chris Clemons.

Irvin, 6-foot-3 and 248 pounds, played at West Virginia. He was a junior-college transfer with off-field troubles deep in his past.

The PFW guide called him "the most explosive pass-rusher of any in the draft" while noting that a thin build could make it tough for Irvin to add weight.

One thing to know about the Seahawks: They draft players with specific roles in mind. The coaching staff has done a good job turning Red Bryant into a valued starter by converting him to a role Bryant had never played previously.

For the Irvin pick to make sense, Seattle presumably sees him as a situational pass-rusher for now, and possibly Clemons' long-term replacement. He'll have an opportunity to rush the passer in favorable situations.