Help Me Understand How Irvin Will be Used

Let me say up front - I'm a 49er fan. I gather you don't look too kindly on my ilk around here, but I'm not here to throw insults - I promise I'll be on my best behavior. I'm curious about the football reasons for why you think Bruce Irvin will be so successful (I gather from the discussion on the last Niners thread that the consensus opinion on Field Gulls is that he's going to be awesome).

Let me pre-empt a few of the common criticisms I saw thrown at Niners Fans in the big thread:

1) I don't consider Bruce Irvin to be a "reach".

I don't believe in calling a draft pick a reach based on someone's best guess as to where he might have been picked in some alternate universe where the Seahawks decided to wait. Not to mention, I would actually have liked the Niners to draft Irvin with their first pick, but they never got the chance.

2) Yes. I am aware that Aldon Smith is on my team, and also aware that there are some parallels between Smith and Irvin.

That does not convince me on it's face that Irvin will have a huge impact on the Seahawks D this year. Every year there are rookies who ease their way into the lineup playing in situational pass rush packages. None of them have ever had as many sacks a Aldon Smith. Irvin being used the same way doesn't guarantee he will have anywhere near the success. But I also acknowledge that it doesn't guarantee he won't either.

So with that out of the way, a few questions about the Man-God Bruce Irvin :)

How many snaps will Irvin realistically play this year? And as a corollary to that, who does he take those snaps away from? Does he replace Clemons? Does he replace Bryant? Does he play alongside both? How does that work? When you consider who he replaces, what is the tradeoff for getting him on the field and what are your expectations for him numbers-wise?

I'm happy to discuss what I think the reasons for Aldon Smith's success were too (besides the fact that he is also a God among men).

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