MORGANTOWN - By all accounts, Bruce Irvin's position in next week's NFL draft is a crap shoot.
He could go as high as the first round by some miracle or as low as the third or fourth, according to projections. The reason is at the same time simple and complex.
It's simple because strong, fast, athletic pass rushers don't grow on trees. It becomes a bit more complex because of Irvin's relative lack of experience and training.
In other words, he could be a guy on which NFL team gambles with a high pick because of his attributes, or one that organizations shy away from because he's seen as a bit of a project.
But no matter what happens when the draft is held over three days beginning a week from Thursday, Irvin is soaking it all in and relishing it.
"I never thought I'd be in this situation so I'm just enjoying it,'' Irvin said. "I'm just enjoying the process and hopefully I'll land somewhere that I can go and make an immediate impact.''
Over the last month, Irvin has traveled around the country to do interviews with roughly one-third of the NFL's 32 teams. That's after he said he had personal interviews with 22 teams at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Although he played defensive end for his two seasons at West Virginia, most teams are looking at Irvin as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. Only a handful of 4-3 teams have bothered talking to him because in that alignment he would likely remain an end, and at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds he is undersized to play on the line.
That position switch, though, only makes Irvin even more of an unknown. He's never played linebacker and would likely find himself in pass-coverage situations.
But even if Irvin is drafted primarily as a pass rusher at whatever position, there is also the inexperience factor there. He didn't play high school football after his sophomore year, went to junior college and was thrown into the fire as a pass-rushing defensive end, and then spent two years at West Virginia in the odd 3-3-5 defensive alignment that doesn't translate at all to what NFL defenses do.
Irvin, though, attempts to portray that as a plus, as in, "Just wait until I learn how to play the game.''