As we near the 2020 NFL draft on April 23 and most of the top free agents have signed new contracts, one question remains unanswered: where will Jadeveon Clowney play in 2020?
Clowney, drafted first overall in 2014 by the Houston Texans, was dealt to the Seahawks right before the 2019 season. At the moment, Clowney, who is currently a free agent, believes his talent is worth more than he is being offered.
However, if he decides to move on from Seattle, the Seahawks are going to have to find a new DE to help bulk up their pass rush. Here are my top pass rush options for the Seahawks if Jadeveon Clowney moves to a new team.
The 32-year-old veteran DE, has played his whole career with the Minnesota Vikings and has been waiting for Clowney to sign before he tests the market. Since Griffen opted out of his contract back in early February, fans and media have suspected that he may soon find a spot on the Seahawks. Griffen had three solid seasons when he played under Pete Carroll at USC.
Griffen has taken a step back getting only 13.5 sacks in his last two seasons. This was a significant drop from his 13.0 sacks in the 2017 season. Due to Griffen’s pass-rush ability and history with Pete Carroll, I believe he has a good chance to sign with the Seahawks.
A cheaper alternative for Seattle is to use the draft to strengthen their pass rush. Even though Seattle will likely trade back from their first-round selection as usual, there are still some talented edge rushers expected to make it beyond the first round.
Players like Bradlee Anae and Josh Uche would fit the edge rushing role Seattle is looking for and also have the ability to drop back into pass coverage. John Schnieder and Pete Carroll have a history of selecting defensive lineman early in the draft and have had some success in the past few years selecting Frank Clark in 2015 and Jarran Reed in 2016.
At first glance, it may appear Seattle has a hole in their pass rush. With closer examination, it seems they may already have the talent in-house to put together a serviceable D-line.
This offseason, Seattle has already signed Bruce Irvin and Benson Mayowa and broght back DT Jarran Reed. Mayowa and Irvin had a combined 15.5 sacks last year, and in conjunction with other players could already be a solid pass rush.
Seattle drafted LJ Collier in 2019 with their first-round selection and, even though he basically didn’t play the whole season, he is expected to get a bigger role this upcoming year.
Overall, with the players Seattle has on the D-line right now, the team may already be set to make a jump in sacks next year.
Photo Credit: Browns Wire