Back in 2012, nearly eight years ago to this date, Seahawks general manager John Schneider selected one of the best draft classes in NFL history.
But at the time, the vast majority of draft pundits criticized Schneider, putting the young general manager on a skewer. Specifically, Bleacher Report handed Seattle an F for its draft haul, citing the team's decision to "reach" for Bruce Irvin with pick No. 15 in the first round.
Fast forwarding to the present, the Seahawks have made the playoffs in seven of the past eight seasons. Quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner, who were drafted in the third and second rounds respectively in that famous 2012 draft, both look to be well on their way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
As for Irvin, he silenced his critics with 8.0 sacks as a rookie and eventually landed a lucrative free agent deal with the Raiders prior to the 2016 season. Coming off the best season of his career with the Panthers in 2019, his career has now come full circle, as the Seahawks re-signed him last month to add veteran pass rushing help.
As an under-the-radar signing, Irvin thrived in his lone season in Carolina, setting a career-high with 8.5 sacks in just 13 games. Though the team floundered to a 5-11 finish, he wrapped up a successful season with 38 tackles, 16 quarterback hits, and eight tackles for loss, proving he still had plenty of juice left in the tank at 32 years of age.
Now back in Seattle, reports suggest Irvin will return to strongside linebacker, where he played the vast majority of his first stint with the organization. But given his strengths and age along with the team's pressing pass rushing needs, is that necessarily the right move?
Check out my latest film breakdown as I dissect Irvin's performance with the Panthers and examine where he may fit into defensive plans in his second stint with the Seahawks.