Julian Okwara of Notre Dame in the Pacific Northwest? Let's think about this possibility. The Seattle Seahawks tinkered with their edge rush endlessly in the 2019 offseason. They traded away their defensive end Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs, drafted TCU defensive end L.J. Collier in the first-round, signed defensive end Ezekiel Ansah and brought-in three-time Pro Bowler defensive end Jadeveon Clowney via trade.
Seattle's seemingly endless offseason of messing with their pass-rush should transition to 2020.
Though the Seahawks worked hard on bolstering their pass-rush, it hasn't paid off. Seattle is 30th in the NFL in sacks with 26. According to Pro Football Reference, the Seahawks are 28th in pressure rate (19.4%) and 17th in hurry rate (9.2%).
Both Clowney and Ansah will also be unrestricted free agents in March if Seattle does not extend or franchise tag either.
Short of saying, the Seahawks still need to tinker their pass-rush.
Considering the need to resign Clowney alongside a hefty contract given to Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner, it's in the best interest of the Seahawks that they rebuild their pass rush via the draft. They started with Collier in the 2019 NFL Draft and should continue in the 2020 NFL Draft.
One such name that should pique the interest of the Seahawks is Notre Dame's Julian Okwara.
Though perhaps slightly small to run defensive end in the Seahawks' 4-3 defense (6-4, 248), Okwara could be an ideal prospect to add in Seattle in the first round of the draft. However, he does have experience at the position, as he played defensive end at Notre Dame.
Okwara, a senior, didn't finish his 2019 campaign with a broken left fibula. Despite so, he managed to make an impact for the Fighting Irish defense, tallying five sacks and seven tackles for loss in nine games played.
Okwara burst onto the scene in 2018, leading Notre Dame in sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (12.5). His statistics weren't the only reason why he caught the eye of the draft community. The Charlotte native displayed his freakish athleticism, as he possesses an explosive first step and power to boot. He will be a combine hero in Indianapolis.
The Notre Dame product should put up huge numbers in the NFL Combine if he's recovered by then. Just as he will earn fans there, he may lose some due to an incomplete pass-rushing plan. He's not a player that will rely on athleticism alone, but he needs to work on his moves to be a gaudy statistics type player.
The Seahawks could view Okwara as a similar prospect to Collier, in that he's a bit raw with surreal athleticism. However, with Clowney expected to resign, they can afford to wait for him to develop into the outstanding pass-rushing presence many figure him to be.