Raiders Draft Preview: Bruce Irvin

You never know what’s going to happen on draft day. A surprise pick like Darrius Heyward-Bey going higher than most anticipated can usually lead to a surprising slide like Aaron Rodgers going later. The Raiders are going to have to hope a few players get slept on in the 2012 draft in order for Reggie McKenzie to find value with his limited amount of picks.

With The First Pick just completed a full mock of the Raiders draft and they envision a scenario in which Oakland can indeed get value with their first pick. NFL Mocks has given West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin a 2nd round grade but that doesn’t mean he can’t slide into the third round, falling to the Raiders at 95th overall.

Irvin is a freakish athlete that will be an ideal fit in a 3-4 scheme. If Dennis Allen does want to go about playing with 3-4 principles then he’ll need the proper personnel. Irvin would add versatility and depth but more importantly he’d be a building block for Oakland’s defensive overhaul. The Atlanta native has taken a strange route to the NFL but he most often takes the right angle when rushing the passer. Here is a quick glimpse at Bruce Irvin.

Bruce Irvin, DE/OLB, West Virginia

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 245lbs.

Strengths: Outstanding athlete that posted a 4.50 40 at the NFL combine. A pass rushing expert that plays with a high motor. Draws a lot of attention which allows other defenders to go one-on-one or completely unblocked.  Very active on every snap, constantly moving and making linemen work each down.

Weaknesses: Limited experience as he took the JUCO route to D1 football. Size is a concern, will have to be utilized in the right scheme to get the most of his talents. Doesn’t handle double teams well, most improve to be effective at the next level. Almost purely a pass rusher, not much help against the run.

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