Bruce Irvin wasn’t a bust, but was he worth what Seattle gave up?
Irvin was ranked by most draftniks as the fifth best linebacker in the draft, although he played in college as a defensive end. Yet Seattle took him in the first round, at defensive end, the same position he worked out at in the NFL Draft Combine. Running a 4.43 40 in the combine probably had something to do with his first round draft status, too.
So was Irvin worth the first round shot? He certainly wasn’t the next J.J. Watt. On the other hand, he had eight sacks as a rookie, despite getting zero starts. That isn’t bad for only being on the field for less than half the defensive plays.
The following year, the Seahawks moved him to outside linebacker, ostensibly to get him more opportunities. Despite getting 12 starts, he was only on the field for 499 plays, just 64 more than in his rookie season. Far worse, he had just two sacks. 2014 saw some improvement as Irvin was moved around the field quite a bit. Regardless, he never matched his eight sack rookie total, and was eventually allowed to walk at the end of his four year deal.
By the way, here’s a fun fact if you don’t remember: Seattle traded out of the 12th slot to add picks in the fourth and sixth rounds. And who did Philadelphia take by moving up three spots? Fletcher Cox. Yeah, just kill me now. Regardless, Irvin certainly hasn’t been a bust. He has 69 starts and 37 sacks in six years. Those are really good numbers, just not great ones.