Interesting little nugget from DCFanatic Radio, who did an interview with DE/OLB Bruce Irvin from West Virginia. Irvin is widely projected as a pass rushing 3-4 OLB at the next level, but they asked Irvin if any 4-3 teams have talked to him. Apparently, the Eagles and Lions have shown interest. The commonality of the Eagles and Lions? They both run the wide 9. In college, Irvin was used in a position that didn’t play to his strengths. West Virginia ran a weird 3-3-5 defense with Irvin playing DE in that scheme, and he still found a way to get to the QB 22.5 times the last 2 seasons. Here’s what their 3-3-5 defense looks like:
The other interesting thing from Irvin’s interview was when he said he’s never been taught how to pass rush.
I feel like, to be honest with you, I’ve never been taught how to pass rush. The last two years, the 23 sacks that I got, it was all natural ability. Not to knock my coaches, but they emphasized stopping the run, and that’s what we did. We never did any pass rushing drills. I feel like, with the proper coaching and the right people around me I feel like I can be a very productive player in this league.
That sounds crazy to me that a football school like WVU wouldn’t have pass rushing drills, but you can kind of see it in the film above. You don’t see a variety of pass rushing moves at all. It’s basically a repertoire of 3 moves: Speed around the corner with a little dip, speed around the corner with a quick stop and rip underneath, and the bull rush. As Irvin noted, it appears that whenever he was getting to the QB, it was just on raw ability. Irvin ran a 4.50 at the Combine. DE’s with that kind of speed don’t grow on trees. Very intriguing player with a lot of upside.
At the Senior Bowl, I watched as the Eagles spoke with a lot of pass rushers, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see them consider Irvin as early as the 2nd round. I think he’d make a lot of sense as a situational pass rusher in Philly, or as an eventual replacement for Anthony Spencer in Dallas.