Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; West Virginia defensive lineman Bruce Irvin does a footwork drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
I know that a lot of you frequent SB Nation's Mocking The Draft, so you'll know exactly what's going on over there with the bloggers' mock draft. For those who don't, Dan over at MTD has been conducting a mock draft where the 32 NFL team bloggers are the general managers. With our first round pick, Acme Packing Company selected Penn State defensive end/tackle Devon Still to fill the hole vacated by Cullen Jenkins a year ago on the defensive line. With our second pick, we addressed the front seven again.
I was thrilled to see that when my 2nd round pick rolled around, a guy with great physical upside who fits the Green Bay Packers' needs perfectly had fallen to me at No. 59. I'm looking past the broken sign incident at Jimmy John's and picking West Virginia Mountaineers defensive end/outside linebacker Bruce Irvin. You can find my explanation and Dan's response after the jump.
You can find the entire post over at Mocking The Draft.
Kevin: The Green Bay Packers' biggest problems in 2011 were along the front seven. B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews are Pro Bowl-level talents, but the players around them looked like anything but for most of the year. Acme Packing Company addressed one need for a versatile defensive lineman that can play as a 3-4 end in Round 1 with Devon Still, so we're addressing the other pressing issue along the front seven in Round 2 with Bruce Irvin, who could make an immediate impact as a pass rusher on the opposite side of Matthews.
There are questions about Irvin's ability to drop back in coverage and he had a minor run-in with the law, picking up a destruction of property charge in March after he broke a sign at a sandwich shop, but his physical tools and production are too good to ignore. He has the size to play as a 3-4 rush linebacker at 6'3", 245 pounds (though he could stand to put on a bit of weight) and his 4.50 40-yard dash time is impressive. His 8.5 sacks in 2011 were a drop-off from his 14 sacks in 2010, but he put up that lower number under a new coaching staff and on a bad all-around defense.
Irvin is limited, but he fits a need perfectly for the Packers, and it's a bit rare that guys with this combination of physical upside and production fall into the lap of a team that needs them in the late 2nd round.
Dan Kadar responds: Irvin is one of the great unknowns of this year's draft class. He's an undersized end who had to play in a three-man front. He was often engulfed by powerful blockers or neutralized by double teams. Some believe if he played linebacker in college, he'd have developed into a slam dunk first-round pick. His athletic skill set is high, but how he can utilize it properly is the unknown. So he's a risk anywhere this high. But for a team like the Packers, who went 15-1 last season, can take a chance on a player like Irvin and hope it works. Best player available is the usual mantra, but taking a risk on a talent like Irvin could pay off.
Thoughts? Are you guys happy with my selection, or did you want someone more polished? Does his run-in with the law concern you at all? I look forward to your ridicule or glowing praise.