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Thursday November 26 2015
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WVU's Irvin first local player off the board

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Seattle takes defensive end in surprise choice at No. 15 overall

West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin was considered by most to be a second or third round pick in the NFL Draft. The Seattle Seahawks did not think so.

The Seahawks chose the 6-3, 245-pound WVU product with the fifteenth pick in the first round of the draft. Seattle traded down from 12 to 15 in the draft order with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Even the team’s hometown newspaper headlined a blog with the title, “Who the heck is he?”

Irvin is known as being a pure pass rusher, which the Seahawks were looking for in this draft. He had 14 sacks as a junior and 8.5 as a senior, totaling 22.5 in just 26 college games during the only two seasons he played at West Virginia.

Irvin's less-than-ideal defensive end size, coupled with off-field concerns, threatened to drop him into the second day of the draft. He was inconsistent during his two years at WVU and at times his work ethic was called into question. He was also arrested this past winter in Morgantown. 

Irvin came to West Virginia from Mt. San Antonio Community College in California after a difficult childhood in Atlanta. He dropped out of high school in his junior year but got his G.E.D. afterward. He also had two short stints in jail in his past.

He ran an astonishing 4.5 forty in the combine and was considered one of the more athletic prospects in the draft. He said his past is behind him and the Seahawks agreed.

Irvin was the first player from a school considered local to western Pennsylvania to be chosen in this year’s draft and only local player in the first round.

Neil Walker’s contract expires after the 2016 season. The Pirates second baseman is due for a big raise in arbitration this offseason—likely to $10 million—and signing him to a long-term extension will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $12-$15 million annually.
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