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Draft fallout: Will Irvin reward Seahawks with sacks?

253 draft picks transformed the NFL in a matter of days. Around the League will examine the aftershocks by asking one post-draft burning question for all 32 teams.

Will Bruce Irvin reward Seattle with sacks?

When the Seattle Seahawks chose defensive end Bruce Irvin with the 15th overall pick, a collective gasp was heard from so-called draft experts nationwide.

The immediate prognosis was uncharitable: Pete Carroll and Co. officially reached on the pick. Sure, Irvin turned heads at West Virginia, but off-the-field issues soiled his allure as a rare pass-rushing talent.

Ignored amid a flurry of melting tweeters and talking heads was the obvious: The Seahawks weren't caught off-guard here. This wasn't a case of general manager John Schneider lounging in the war room, picking a random name out of a hat, with cheerful piñatas dangling from the ceiling. The organization mined Irvin's past and felt a connection to his story. Where draftniks pick him apart, Seattle saw a unique, moldable talent.

"Look, he has had a rough background," Schneider told National Football Post. "He was so desperate. He dropped out of school. He basically was living on the street. But he was able to pick himself up, get his GED, get into a junior college (Mount San Antonio College), then get a scholarship (with the Mountaineers)."

Irvin's past includes a stint in a juvenile jail for burglary and time spent living in a drug house. Schneider believes Irvin showed strength by rising out of those dark corners. The GM maintains Irvin -- whose stock shot up as the draft neared -- was at the top of their board along with safety Mark Barron and linebacker Luke Kuechly.

"Is it a risk?" Schneider said. "Sure it is. But we were as comfortable with it as you can get. Obviously you would like a guy be clean as a whistle, have them all be like (Bears rookie end) Shea McClellin. Sometimes a guy like this comes along and is worth a shot. We felt he was."

Carroll fell in love with Irvin years ago when he attempted to recruit him to USC. Now he has Irvin in house, and it's not a charity case. Irvin brings rare speed and burst. He can flatten down linemen. He was highly productive in two seasons at West Virginia, racking up 22.5 sacks, and we know Rex Ryan and the Jets were in love with the kid -- when the dust settled, most agreed Irvin wasn't getting out of the first round.

Seattle sees him as an every down player in their "Leo" scheme (commonly known as the "elephant" end slot in the wide-nine). If he plays as they expect, Irvin will not be remembered as a reach, but a classic Carroll pick. This team does things their own way.

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