Granted an enhanced opportunity to show off his skills so far this offseason — with disgruntled DE Chris Clemons nowhere to be seen due to contract concerns — it appears controversial first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin has made a very favorable impression.
“A lot of people thought he’d be a one-trick pony — just a pure speed edge rusher,” one daily team observer said of Irvin, the likely heir apparent at the “Leo” position to Clemons, who is entering his contract year and, according to some in league circles, might be leaning toward entering the free-agent market next offseason.
“You can’t help but notice his speed and explosiveness right off the bat. But he’s already shown that there’s more to his game.”
One particularly striking example in a late-May OTA was the eye-popping countermove the sleek Irvin put on Breno Giacomini that literally floored the massive tackle. “It was really something to see; it made an instant impression,” the observer said.
But it was hardly enough to suddenly thrust Irvin into consideration for a starting role, with the game plan calling for him to hopefully wreak havoc along with Clemons in specific nickel pass-rush situations the same way Aldon Smith did as a first-round rookie for the Niners last season.
“Irvin has gotten all the starting reps up to now, but he has talked about how much he’d like to be learning from Clemons,” the observer said.