When Bruce Irvin left for Oakland in free agency, the Seahawks lost a versatile defender who set the edge on early downs and rushed the passer in nickel situations.
Could Seattle find a strong-side linebacker in one of the first three rounds of the draft who can do both?
That was a question asked of ESPN’s Todd McShay during a recent visit with “Brock and Salk.” McShay provided some names, beginning with Joshua Perry of Ohio State, whom he believes could be available in the third round.
McShay said Perry fits the mold of a strong-side linebacker at 6 feet 3 1/2 and 254 pounds (which are close to Irvin’s listed height/weight dimensions of 6-3, 260). He started for three seasons – twice topping 100 tackles while recording 18 for loss and 7.5 sacks – and was a co-captain as a senior, which makes sense based on how McShay described him.
“Best intangibles you’re going to find out there,” McShay said. “Just loves the game, works at it, great worker in the film room, exceptional worker in the weight room. He was kind of the glue, if you will, of that really talented Ohio State defense.”
McShay said Perry “runs fast on a straight line” – his time of 4.68 in the 40-yard dash was eighth-best among linebackers tested at the combine – but that when “you get him in space and ask him to redirect quickly, that’s where he’s going to struggle. Not an elite pass rusher, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t learn how to and do a little bit more of that at the NFL level.”
Here are three other players McShay mentioned:
Kamalei Correa, Boise State (6-3, 243). McShay noted that Correa ran in the 4.6 range in the 40 and said he’s “really strong, has some power and pop and has proven pass-rush ability.” Correa recorded 20 sacks and 31.5 tackles for loss during his three seasons at Boise State, with the majority of that production (19 sacks, 30 TFLs) coming during his two seasons as a starter. McShay believes Correa could be off the board by the time Seattle makes its second-round pick – No. 56 overall – saying there’s a chance he’s taken as early as late in the first. “I’m interested to see where he goes because he’s got that skillset that you look for in terms of someone who can match up against a tight end, who can play off the ball if he has to but is strong at the point of attack, can set the edge when you ask him to and also can get after the quarterback,” McShay said.
Nick Kwiatkoski, West Virginia (6-2, 243). Kwiatkoski recorded six sacks, 28.5 tackles for loss and even six interceptions during his three seasons as a starter. McShay described him as a good tackler and said he’s better in space than a player like Perry. “He’s just a really good football player that I think no matter what you ask him to do, he’s going to find a way to get out there and contribute,” McShay said.
Kyler Fackrell, Utah State (6-5, 245). Fackrell started as a redshirt freshman then missed all but one game during his junior season due to a knee injury, finishing his career with 12 sacks, 36 tackles for loss and four interceptions. McShay called him a second- or third-round prospect and said he has a chance to follow in the footsteps of some of Seattle’s under-the-radar draft picks who developed into great players.