The selection earned immediate criticism from the fans in attendance as well as TV analysts on both ESPN and the NFL Network—and rightfully so.
While Irvin is a talented kid with some good potential, the decision to add a prospect many pundits projected to be a second-rounder in the middle of the first round is baffling.
He boasts phenomenal speed and initial burst off the edge, but has little else to rely on. At the NFL level, offensive tackles are well-versed and will not allow Irvin to get after the quarterback on speed alone.
Outside of his ability to rush the passer, Irvin is a conundrum.
His ability against the run is a question mark, as he was not asked to play against it very often at West Virginia. He also shows limited experience in coverage which, though he should be able to capitalize on mistakes with his stellar speed and change-of-direction skills, will need to be worked on immediately for him to be serviceable at the next level.
Irvin certainly fits the mold Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is searching for in his pass-rushers, with solid size at 6’3” and 245 pounds, which enables him to play both defensive end and outside linebacker.
But his ceiling does not appear to be as high as other pass-rushers who remained on the board at the time of his selection.
Melvin Ingram, Quinton Coples and Whitney Mercilus all present better options for what the Seahawks were seeking.
Seattle dropped the ball dramatically by taking the former Mountaineer and could be in for a rude awakening should Irvin fail to live up to the expectations of the 15th overall pick in the NFL draft.