Corvey Irvin was a junior college transfer from Georgia Military College that played for the Georgia Bulldogs the last two seasons. He saw limited action as a junior, appearing in 13 games, but not starting in any of them.
Prior to his senior season, the man in front of him on the depth chart, Jeff Owens sustained a season-ending knee injury and Irvin made the most of his opportunity.
He started all 13 games in 2008 for the Bulldogs and tallied 34 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, five quarterback hurries, and three passes defended.
At 6-feet-3 and 301 pounds, he's just about the perfect size to play the nose tackle position for the Colts, and they have shown interest in him, according to Scout.com's Ed Thompson, who tells us the team has talked with him. The fact that he only had 22 reps on the bench press and looks as though he could add some muscle and bulk to both his upper and lower body suggests that he might be more comfortable in the 310-315 pound range.
Irvin runs the 40 at the NFL Combine
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He also ran the 40-yard dash in five seconds, so Indianapolis would not want him to lose too much of that quickness in exchange for a little weight — especially considering that 301 pounds is considerably bigger than Eric Foster and Keyunta Dawson, the two men that started the most games at defensive tackle for the Colts last season.
As a player on the field and in terms of measurables, he reminds one of Ed Johnson a great deal. Whereas Johnson went undrafted in 2007 because of questions about his character, however, Irvin is considered very mature and a leader on and off the field.
Irvin is currently the 17th-ranked player at his position and the 214th-ranked player overall. That would place him towards the tail end of the seventh round, if he gets drafted at all.
So, Irvin is Ed Johnson minus character issues? That would sound very appealing to most Colts fans and would certainly warrant a seventh-round pick to make sure that Indianapolis secured his services.
However, "Ed Johnson minus character issues" does not completely describe Corvey Irvin.
For one, Irvin has very limited Division I experience, having played only one season. Although he fared very well in that one season, he is not accustomed to playing the game at the highest level of college football, to say nothing of professional football.
He needs to add some bulk and needs some work on his technique, specifically using his hands more effectively and playing with a lower center of gravity so that he doesn't get overwhelmed as easily at the point of attack.
While John Teerlinck would be happy to work with him on technique and Jon Torine would be ready, willing, and able to help him with his conditioning, Irvin is also going to be turning 24 on May 3rd, which is old for a prospect. Granted, 24 is a very young age in the grand scheme of things, but it is a very advanced age for someone that needs to learn everything they missed, add muscle and weight, and successfully beat out a number of more experienced, highly trained athletes for a job.
That's not to say that Irvin can't do it, though, and, given his personality, he would welcome the challenge. The question is whether or not the Colts decide to take a chance on him.
If they are truly interested, they will take him in the sixth or seventh round, since the undrafted free agent market is far too turbulent. If Indianapolis receives a few late-round compensatory selections — as they usually do — then it would be the ideal situation to use one of those on Irvin.
If, however, they discover that they need to pull the trigger on him with one of their actual selections in either of those rounds, that would be a good idea as well.
He may be old and still learning the position, but, when he's had the opportunity to play, he has had tremendous success, averaging one tackle for loss every four tackles and a sack every 11 tackles — in the SEC no less.
He has a nose for the ball and knows how to penetrate. To be a defensive lineman for the Colts, those are the two most important attributes to have. And they are the two most difficult things to teach a defensive lineman.
For a late-round selection towards the end of the draft, Indianapolis could certainly do a lot worse. And it's not very likely that they could do much better.