Jeremiah Attaochu is one of the really intriguing defensive line/linebacker prospects in the upcoming draft. The reason is simply due to his flexibility at the position. In the traditional 4-3 scheme he can play as your strong side linebacker (SAM) or you outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. He traditionally played as a defensive end at Georgia Tech but without putting on a few more pounds he would be a bit undersized.
Initial Burst: Other than Jadeveon Clowney, Attaochu probably has one of the best first steps coming out of his stance. He also does so with authority. This quickness and initial burst exploding out of his stance gives him the advantage over his defender from the snap.
Versatility: Attaochu does have the advantage that teams can’t pinpoint where he will be at all times. He is never at the same position play in and play out. Some instances you will find him playing strong-side defensive end and others he will be weak-side or even dropping into pass coverage. The most surprising aspect was watching him lined out wide much like a corner.
Hands get Inside: The biggest issue you can see on film is that Attaochu allows the tackle get his hands inside on him. Attaochu hasn’t shown the ability to fight off his defenders hands to overcome this as of yet. He will need to work on his hand fighting to become a more effective pass rusher.
Inconsistent Rush Moves: Attaochu will struggle at the next level unless he gets more consistent using the pass rush moves in his arsenal. Attaochu has a tendency of getting lost inside, mainly when he is attempting to get inside of the left tackle and guard when playing strong-side defensive end. Attaochu will also need to improve dipping his shoulder when using his speed move on a tackle who is sluggish coming out of his stance.
Von Miller, Denver Broncos
Attaochu and Miller are very similar and size but Miller is the more polished pass rusher obviously. The comparison is more based on similar size and the fact that this is the role that Attaochu would most likely fit. Playing either weak-side or strong-side linebacker and moving up as a nickel rusher in obvious pass rushing situations.
Jeremiah Attaochu will most likely test very well at the NFL Combine coming up. Teams could look at how the Denver Broncos utilize Miller as a way to get the most production out of Attaochu. He is most likely go before the third round as high as the first round depending on his scores at the combine.
Attaochu can play either defensive scheme which opens up his possibilities for every team. His best fit will be on a team who is in need of an outside linebacker. If the team also needs a pass rusher, Attaochu could shoot up their board.