So...I spent the last couple of days of finding all the athletic measures plus arm length and hand size (so tedious and unfulfilling for most part) of each player on the Seahawks Defense in 2013 and charting that information via excel.
It gave me a great chance to compare and contrast the players competing on the backend as well as just seeing what players stood out the most. What was astonishing was seeing the difference of athletic ability between Clemons and Irvin in their entry year. So I promptly for the first time ever looked at Chris Clemons career stats:
1) Many admire Clemons for being athletic and compact, let’s look at his combine measures:
6-3, 236 pounds, 4.68 (40), 2.75 (20), 1. 72 (10), 7.48 3-Cone, 35 Vert, 9’08” Broad, 18 x225
2) Compared to Bruce Irvin’s results:
6-3, 245 pounds, 4.41 (40), 2.57 (20), 1.55 (10), 6.70 3-Cone, 33.5 Vert, 10’03” Broad, 23 x 225, (4.03 Shuttle)
In every athletic aspect except for the Vertical Jump, Bruce Irvin blew Chris Clemon’s out of the water, and did so weighting 9 pounds heavier.
Chris Clemons gained 18 pounds sometime during his first 6 years in the NFL to weigh in at 254 when he came to Seattle.
Bruce Irvin in 1 season (with help or not) has already gained 10-15 pounds to weigh in between 255-260 heading into his 2nd year.
3) It took Chris Clemons until his 4th year to registers 8 sacks in a season, he had 20 tackles, 8 sacks that season. In his first 6 years in the league before coming to Seattle he had only registered: 50 tackles and 20 sacks overall. Since Clemons wasn't active in his rookie year, I'll take it into account. In 5 years of activity, Clemons averaged 10 tackles and 4 sacks per season before coming to the Seahawks.
4) It took Bruce Irvin, his rookie season to register 9 sacks (1 in the post-season), imo, he has a decent chance to surpass 20 accumulative sacks even though he’ll only play in 12 games (health permitting). Irvin’s rookie season: 16 tackles, 8 sacks.
Chris Clemons wasn’t a success right away, it really wasn’t until he came to Seattle where he consistently got going but he already had 6 years accrued in the NFL and the Seahawks were his 4th team. He was a journeyman sack artist. Not necessarily the elite player we believe he is today.
In one season, Bruce Irvin has already matched Clemons’ best season pre-Seattle in which it took Clemons 4 years to accomplish.
So I don’t buy the negativity surrounding Irvin’s development. He’s already a better player athletically in almost every way, and statistically Irvin’s first season compares almost equally to Clemon’s best season in his first 6 years.
So in year 4 of Irvin’s development, I don’t doubt what so ever that he can become a quality LEO prospect.
After 6 years, I don’t doubt that Irvin can become a complete player on top of being a consistently elite pass-rusher.
Also, Cliff Avril, imo, is a great buy as he might be an even better LEO prospect than Clemons, today and not potentially.
CA: 6-027, 253 (260 now), 4.51 (40), 2.58 (20), 1.50 (10), 6.9 3-Cone, 9’09” Broad, 36.5 Vert, 27 x 225! (4.31 Shuttle)
CC: 6-3, 236 (254 now), 4.68 (40), 2.75 (20), 1. 72 (10), 7.48 3-Cone, 35 Vert, 9’08” Broad, 18 x225
BI: 6-3, 245 (255-60), 4.41 (40), 2.57 (20), 1.55 (10), 6.70 3-Cone, 33.5 Vert, 10’03” Broad, 23 x 225, (4.03 Shuttle)
It wouldn’t surprise me at all that once Clemons gets healthy: That Seahawks will still keep Avril as the Primary LEO, with Clemons platooning with Irvin in the Raheem Brock role, and Irvin getting snaps at SLB in passing situations. A very good situation to have when it comes to it, Seahawks can pretty much mix and match their pass-rushers in a variety of ways with high rate of success… O-lines will be hatin.