Dan Shonka is a 15-year NFL scouting veteran with the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, and National Football Scouting.
During his last 4 years at National Football Scouting, he was one of the top-rated scouts by general managers and college directors before joining the Eagles after the 1994 draft. He has been an area, regional, and National Scout. In addition, he was a successful assistant coach, head coach, and recruiter for 13 years prior to scouting.
Dan was one of two veterans and one rookie scout who stacked the board for the Eagles’ 1998 draft which included Tra Thomas, Jeremiah Trotter, Allen Rossum, Brandon Whiting, Clarence Love, and Ike Reese. The pro department added Hugh Douglas and Jeff Graham for the 2nd and 6th picks.
“The 1998 Draft is the draft that turned the Eagles’ fortunes. We had no general manager or player personnel director. There were three scouts that set the board for the draft. We met 16 hours a day for over three weeks to get the board ready for the Draft. Dan Shonka was the lead scout that drafted Pro Bowler Tra Thomas (1st round), Pro Bowler Jeremiah Trotter (3rd round), Pro Bowler Allen Rossum (3rd round), rookie starter Brandon Whiting (4th round), Clarence Love (4th round) Super Bowl ring with the Ravens, and Pro Bowler Ike Reese (5th round)…” Jake Hallum, former scout for 3-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, currently with the Cleveland Browns.
During training camp after Dan Shonka signed Antonio Pierce out of the University of Arizona, Marty Schottenheimer – then head coach of the Washington Redskins, “Antonio Pierce is the smartest and most instinctive linebacker I’ve worked with in my 30 years in the league.”
Intent film study and observation are one of the last bastions of blue collar work in the NFL. There is only one way to know the players and that is the one-eyed monster (tape) – it doesn’t lie.
The NFL is overrun with information gatherers, networking geeks, phone scouts, and pretenders. Dan is a professional football scout. It has been said you know the workman by his work.
Dan signed free agents such as Hollis Thomas, Antonio Pierce, and James Thrash. He also gave Kurt Warner a make-it grade in 1993 and called Priest Holmes “the sleeper of the 1997 draft.” He wasn’t drafted and was turned down as a free agent in Philadelphia, believe it or not.