Draft 2012: Bruce Almighty would be music to Packer fans ears
By Brian E Murphy, PackersInsider.com Senior Editor
~Eli drops back to pass. Looks right. Looks left. Looks over the middle and fires. There’s Victor Cruz open for an easy 25 yard gain. First down Giants.
Eli back to pass again. He pump fakes. Now he looks over the middle. Nicks gets open on the left and Eli throws deep. 20 yards and a Giant first down.
And none of those were a Hail Mary where Eli had plenty of time to measure up his throw, without a worry in the world back there in the well-protected, peaceful pocket.
Clay Matthews needs help. He cannot do it alone.
Enter Bruce Irvin, West Virginia outside linebacker and pass-rushing specialist.
Von Miller was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last year. He was productive on the field in college at Texas A&M, and he showed himself to be quite an athlete at the NFL combine.
The same things could be said about Bruce Irvin, with a straight face. Facts and statistics don’t lie.
Bruce Irvin has been at rock bottom in his life, and as a result, he’s a very hungry person, and player.
Irvin said: “Trying to reach the top because it’s too crowded at the bottom.”
Teams have asked him about the details of his past problems and issues.
“They’ve heard the stories, read the articles,” Irvin said. “They’ve questioned me, which I don’t blame. They want to hear it from the horse’s mouth, the whole situation and how it happened.”
He has owned up to his mistakes of the past, moved on, and is proud of who he’s become.
“Check my past four or five years. I got a lot of people who can vouch for me. I’m no longer that person,” Irvin said. “I went by B.J., now I’m Bruce. That’s what I tell them.”
Although he had some problems in the past, this is a guy who you want to join forces with Clay Matthews if you are a Packer fan.
He’s no Adam Pac-Man Jones, another former Mountaineer who was both talented and troubled. He never could shake the thug in him because that was who he was. He just happened to be blessed with talent in addition to that.
Irvin is not a thug. He’s talented as hell, but had a tough upbringing, as Donald Driver and James Jones did as well. Driver did some things when he was younger that he’s not proud of. He straightened himself out, overcame his circumstances, and Bruce Irvin is on that same path.
Here are some comments on Irvin from national draft guys/scouts. It really cracks me up when these so-called scouts, scientists, refer to Irvin as “undersized”. Undersized for what? Was Von Miller undersized? Is Clay Matthews “undersized”? Irvin is bigger and stronger than both of them, and they’ve terrorized NFL QB’s at their “undersize”. Lacks the ideal size? Really? Who’s the premium pass rushers in the NFL to compare to?
Wes Bunting (National Football Post): A gifted athlete who has the initial burst to routinely reach the edge. However, lacks ideal size and doesn’t have a real sophisticated pass rushing repertoire. Is going to make the move to a 34 OLB at the next level and might need a little time. Reminds me some of Chris Clemons.
Chad Reuter (CBS Sports): Despite his lack of experience, Irvin’s athleticism and toughness should give him a chance to be a pass rusher as a 3-4 linebacker at the next level, or possibly a defensive end for the handful of NFL 4-3 teams not minding his lack of size. If he answers questions about his past to NFL scouts’ satisfaction, they may decide to take a chance on his potential in either role with an early-round selection.
NFL.com (Combine): Bruce is a compelling prospect whose athletic ability is as unique as his path to the NFL. An electrifying pass rusher who will fit as either a specialist DE or an OLB in a 3-4 scheme, Irvin uses a flurry of moves and his uncanny athletic ability to maneuver his undersized frame around and through offensive linemen to produce massive sack production in his limited views at West Virginia. A player who is hampered by his size and amount of snaps taken at a high level, Irvin should be selected within the first two rounds of the draft by a team looking for a boost in their ability to get to the quarterback.
“I’m a fast guy. I like mismatches,” Irvin said. “So I think that gives me the chance, especially if I have big guys in the middle to occupy the guards. It allows me to go one-on-one with the tackle.
“I usually won those [battles] in college. It’s going to be different at the next level, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
It’s not often a guy this talented lasts until pick #28, and it’s even rarer for one to last until late in the 2nd round. And we’re talking about a pass-rusher in today’s NFL where the passing game is king.
Bruce Irvin would be a fantastic addition to the Green Bay Packers at wherever GM Ted Thompson took him.