Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech (HT: 6’3”, WT: 252 lbs)
Second Round: 50th Pick
NFL Comparison: Corey Lemonier, OLB, San Francisco 49ers
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- Muscular build with a thick lower body and sufficient length.
- Naturally explosive athlete with suddenness to his feet.
- Has ability to play with balance at high speeds and when engaged with blockers.
- Comes off the ball with significant initial quickness.
- Quick and purposeful second step to shoot the inside gap of tackles and is disruptive doing so.
- Rushes the passer with a low center of gravity that enables him to play with leverage.
- Dips his inside shoulder to get flat around the corner with tremendous flexibility and balance.
- Can beat the corner on speed alone, obvious athletic talent.
- Flashes some power in his hands on initial contact.
- Devastating utilization of speed on stunts and blitzes from space.
- Efficient footwork when dropping in pass coverage, covers ground well.
- Coordinated and fluid changing directions in coverage to track route runners.
- Exceptional speed to close in the open field, impactful when flowing over the top or chasing plays from the back-side.
- Keen on defensive assignments, operates stunts and twists with precision.
- Picks up on screen passes well, generally aware of backfield movement.
- Experience at multiple edge positions for Georgia Tech in both 4-3 and 3-4 base sets.
- Productive as a rusher in 2013 despite seeing lots of chips and double teams.
- Will freeze up trying to diagnose plays, not the most instinctive defender.
- Poor anticipation of blocks, doesn’t pick up on play design quickly.
- Doesn’t always play under control or with measured athleticism.
- Can go stretches without purpose as a rusher, doesn’t string together moves.
- Still learning to read the balance and positioning of tackles, predetermines moves for the most part.
- Can flail his hands around instead of operating with precision.
- Doesn’t rip through or finish when he gets a step on tackles.
- Hasn’t learned how to bat away the hands of tackles and gets completely locked up if they get to his chest.
- Almost non-existent usage of power as a rusher, even gets thrown around at times.
- No counter when initial pass rush moves don’t succeed.
- Relatively little experience in pass coverage.
- Lacks resistance strength to anchor drive blocks at the point of attack.
- Doesn’t overpower tight ends in any aspect of the game.
- Prone to missing tackles with ball carriers singled up in space by failing to break down.
- A 3-star prospect as a recruit in class of 2010, 56th ranked outside linebacker by ESPN.
- Georgia Tech record holder in career sacks with 31.5.
- Originally from Nigeria, didn’t being playing football until freshman year of high school.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Jeremiah Attaochu isn’t drafted early this May. His athletic potential will be too much to pass up more than once. His explosive movements and utilization of speed gave tackles fits all year long. While the hand usage and technique parts of his game are heavily underdeveloped, coaches will believe they can bring that along and mold Attaochu into a devastating pass-rusher.
The schematic versatility will also push Attaochu up draft boards. Not only is he experienced in multiple fronts, his skills fit both. His best position may be as a 3-4 rush linebacker in the end, but he also fits as a sub-package player in a 4-3 right away. That’s not as bad or limiting as it sounds. Optimally, he would end up playing for a defensive coordinator who likes to play games with his front seven and can utilize Attaochu’s athleticism on passing downs. Either way, his best football is still ahead of him.
Draft Projection: Second Round