30 for 29: This is the twenty-fourth in a daily series of looks at 30 prospects the Patriots may consider selecting with the 29th overall pick at the 2014 NFL Draft.
Jeremiah Attaochu, OLB, Georgia Tech
6-3, 252 pounds, 1/17/93
2013: 45 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks
Nigerian-born, Attaochu played high school football in the Washington, D.C. area at Archbishop Carroll High School. Was a third-team All-American in 2013. Set the Georgia Tech career record for sacks. Didn’t work out at the Combine because of a finger injury. High ankle sprain cost him two games in 2012.
TO THE GOOD
Mature, smart, leader who plays with excellent effort and always takes care of the little things in preparation. Ran a 4.58 40 at his pro day which is just smoking for a 252-pound player and is comparable to the 4.38 run by Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier at 237 pounds. Shazier is seen as a top-20 pick. Attaochu can drop and cover and is also explosive enough with good initial power to rush with great effectiveness.
TO THE BAD
Still learning the nuances and has been more of a speed and quickness-reliant player so he’ll have to condition himself to getting pounded on a little bit. A little stiff and will need to play with a little more nastiness according to those who’ve watched him closely.
Good value to this guy if he’s there in the second round. The Patriots could use another coverage linebacker because they are only three-deep at the position right now with Jamie Collins, Jerod Mayo and Donta Hightower at the top of the depth chart. Linebacker is a stealth need spot this season.
Generally projected to be a second-round pick.