As you will see in the opening of my previous scouting notes on BCC ( here) I predict the Jaguars will have several holes in their defensive front 7 when the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around, especially considering they didn't add a single player to any of those spots with any of their 8 draft picks in the 2013 Draft. One of the positions I predict the Jaguars will have a hole is the LEO DE spot. One of the positions that many draft analysts, including myself, predicted the Jaguars would make a priority during the 2013 draft was the "LEO" DE position, due to their new defensive scheme and a VERY lackluster pass rush in 2012.
All year people predicted "LEO's" like Dion Jordan, Barkevious Mingo, and "Ziggy" Ansah would be the Jaguars pick at #2. Well the Jaguars went a different direction with the #2 pick, so it was predicted that the Jaguars would draft a "LEO" at least once during the draft. Well, that didn't happen either. The 2 "LEO's" that will most likely sit atop the depth chart for the Jaguars 2013 season are 2nd year player Andre Branch, who is coming off a poor rookie year but has the coaching staff's support and appears to be a good fit for the defense, and 33 yr old Jason Babin, who was claimed off waivers late last season. With Branch still needing to prove himself, and Babin being a stop gap player only, I expect (Maybe I'll be right this time) a LEO to be a target at some point during the 2014 draft, so here is my preseason scouting notes on Georgia Tech DE/OLB Jeremiah Attaochu.
Weight- 240 lbs
- Terrific first step, anticipates the snap well. Very explosive out of stance.
- Violent and relentless hand usage.
- Needs to use his natural length more consistently to keep OT's out of his frame.
- Relies on speed rush too often, not a wide array of pass rush moves. Is quick enough to beat slow footed OT's off the snap and around the corner, won't be able to get by with that consistently in the NFL.
- Inconsistent in dipping his shoulders and bending the edge, Flashes it a few times (such as this play below vs 2nd round draft pick Menelik Watson which resulted in a sack) But rushes upfield too often.
- Needs to play with better leverage, stonewalled by stronger OT's.
- Good closing speed and burst on QB's.
- Sets the edge surprising well. Keeps outside shoulder free and plays with OK leverage, average placement.
- Wraps up and tackles good in space, must be more consistent in doing so.
- Explosive closing steps on ball carriers.
- Bad backside pursuit, runs around traffic instead of fighting through it.
- Good play side pursuit, fluid mover.
- Very lean frame, has room to add much needed strength to anchor better.
- Appears comfortable sinking his hips and sitting in his coverage.
- Picks up most of his assignments.
- Fluid mover in space, changes direction with ease.
- A bit late in terms of reaction to plays.
- GT lined him up at Slot CB at times..
Attaochu could actually fill 2 holes on the Jaguars front 7, as his edge setting ability and comfort in coverage leads me to belive he is very capable of playing SAM LB. But his money in the NFL will be made as a pass rusher, and he fits the profile as a LEO DE. He has the size, length, and quick twitch explosiveness that makes him a dangerous player in space.
If he develops a wider array of rush moves, and dips his shoulders to bend the edge and close on the QB more consistently, I think he could be a dangerous player in a scheme like the Jaguars that would let him wine up wide and use his athletic abilities. He is a player Jaguar fans should keep an eye on, as his scheme fit and pass rushing ability could make him a potential Jaguar target in the 2014 NFL draft.