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Clayton’s SCHOOLED: Exploring Seahawks’ 2019 draft options with Dan Shonka

The Seahawks hit the board at No. 21 overall in the first round of the NFL Draft. (Getty)

The draft is less than two weeks away and the focus for the Seahawks is on getting some help on defense and adding more draft choices through trades. To make sense of some of the possibilities for the Seahawks, Dan Shonka of Ourlads joined us on Schooled with the Professor.

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The hope for general manager John Schneider is to add to the defense, particularly at defensive end. A pass rusher on the other side of Frank Clark is a priority. The top pass-rushers are Nick Bosa of Ohio State, Josh Allen of Kentucky, Montez Sweat of Mississippi State, Rashan Gary of Michigan, Clelin Ferrell of Clemson, Brian Burns of Florida State, and Zach Allen of Boston College.

Of the top five, Shonka thought Burns would be a great fit at the 21st pick for the Seahawks. He says Burns is super explosive coming off the ball. Even though he was more of a linebacker in college, Burns has the height and size to play defensive end.

What Schneider has to weigh is how far he can move back in the draft while still being able to pick up a potential starting pass rusher.

One name was Justin Hollins from Oregon. He’s 6-5, 248 pounds and ran a 4.5 at the combine. Shonka thinks Hollins will go in the second round. If Hollins can pass as an asset to the Seahawks, they would have the luxury of trading down a couple times — similar to what happened in 2017, when they moved from the 25th pick to the 35th pick. In doing so, they picked up four draft choices, three of whom have started: third-rounder Shaquill Griffin, fourth-rounder Tedric Thompson, and seventh-rounder Chris Carson. They also picked up a sixth-round defensive tackle Mike Tyson. Drafted at No. 35 was defensive tackle Malik McDowell, who never ended up playing for Seattle after suffering injuries in an ATV accident.

Defensive back could be another option for the Seahawks. Shonka’s top-rated cornerback was Bryan Murphy of the University of Washington. Granted, Murphy doesn’t have the size dimensions the Seahawks like for their corners, but he’s a great corner. Another name Shonka suggested was Juan Thornhill, a safety from Virginia. Thornhill is 6-0, 205 pounds and ran a 4.42 40 in the combine. Like Tre Flowers, Thornhill played safety but has the ability to move to cornerback.

Shonka is also a big fan of Washington’s Taylor Rapp. Even though Rapp ran a slow 40 time at his pro day, Shonka thinks Rapp is the best safety available, would be a good fit in the Seahawks defense, and probably won’t go in the first round.

In the big picture, Shonka believes this is one of the better defensive drafts he’s seen. It’s great for defensive tackles, defensive ends and linebackers. The Seahawks could come out of this one in good shape.

John Clayton on 710 ESPN Seattle
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The Professor’s Notes

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