Sep 21, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu (45) celebrates a tackle for a loss in the second half against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Georgia Tech won 28-20. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions 2014 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Jeremiah Attaochu

The SideLion Report Detroit Lions 2014 NFL Draft Prospect Profile series gives an in-depth scouting analysis of college football players who could be on the Lions’ radar this spring.

Over the last several weeks, we’ve examined numerous first round candidates for the Lions.  As the draft inches closer, SideLion Report will highlight prospects the franchise may be looking at in the second round.

There’s a lot of promise with respect to the defensive end position, but there are also a lot of question marks.  Ziggy Ansah and Devin Taylor showed flashes, but lack consistency and are learning how to maximize their athletic talent.  Jason Jones is coming off a major knee injury, and free agent acquisition Darryl Tapp has averaged three sacks per season over his eight year career.  As such, it’s likely the Lions will look to add another edge rusher at some point in the draft.  One possibility is Georgia Tech’s Jeremiah Attaochu, who the team took time to visit with at his pro day.

After viewing three games (Virginia Tech, Miami, Clemson), I gave Attaochu a 6.9 grade (early second round).  Here’s an excerpt from his scouting report:

Jeremiah Attaochu – DE – Georgia Tech

Height: 6030  Weight: 251   40 Time: 4.59

NFL Comparison: Cliff Avril

Strong Points:     

Sudden athlete with near elite get-off.  Disruptive behind the LOS.  Possesses the quickness to beat OT off the edge and can bend and dip when running the arc.  Explosive close to consistently finish when honing on the QB.  Excellent play speed and the range to track down ball carriers from behind in pursuit.  Motor always runs hot.  Scheme versatile.  High character.         

Weak Points:

Lacks prototypical bulk and length desired for 4-3 DE.  Struggles anchoring versus downhill run blocks and needs to develop core strength.  Raw.  Has average instincts – gets caught peeking and will bite on fakes.  Needs to continue to develop pass rush arsenal/counter moves.

Summary:

Born in Nigeria, Attaochu played his first three seasons as a 3-4 outside linebacker for defensive coordinator Al Groh before finishing his college career at defensive end in Ted Roof’s 4-3 scheme.  A three-year starter who finished as Georgia Tech’s career sacks record holder with 31.5, Attaochu possesses the necessary burst off the ball and speed to routinely beat offensive tackles off the edge at the next level.  However, there’s certainly room for improvement with respect to pass rush arsenal, which is limited.  He’ll also need to add strength so he can anchor better versus the run, though his excellent play speed gives him the range to chase down ball carriers all over the field.  Overall, a player with Attaochu’s rare motor and athletic attributes make him a low floor, high ceiling player.  Early second round prospect with the versatility to contribute right away as a situational RDE in a 43 front and the potential to become a productive starter by year two.  Has big upside.  

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Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Detroit Lions Georgia Tech Football Jeremiah Attaochu NFL Draft NFL Draft Defensive End Prospects

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