Chargers News: Attaochu Could Have Breakout Season

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Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego
Mandatory Credit: UT San Diego

The San Diego Chargers are loaded with some quality young players on defense. Jason Verrett, Manti Te’o and  Denzel Perryman are all young and expected to be major performers in the NFL. All three of those players are important to the team, but Jeremiah Attaochu has probably the highest ceiling of all four young Chargers.

When you see Attaochu in person you are impressed with both his size and physique. He is 6 foot 3 inches with a tremendous wing span. At 252 lbs, he has muscle yet is not too bulky. He can still utilize his speed to get around offensive lineman and get to the quarterback. That’s exactly what the Chargers want.

In this modern era of the NFL, players need to be hybrids of some sort in order to stay on the field. Even more so if you are on defense in the league. It is very rare to find a defensive lineman or linebacker who stays on the field the whole game. With blitz packages, run stuffing packages and dime packages. Constantly players are swept off the field during third down. Attaochu has the potential to be an every down player, he just has to adjust to the league and develop his instincts.

The Nigerian born Attaochu was a four player at the Georgia Institute of Technology . He is Georgia Tech’s all time career sack leader with 31.5 sacks. Attaochu was a 3rd team All-American his senior year where he amassed 45 tackles (16 for loss) and 12.5 sacks with one forced fumble. He had a great senior year and that performance got the attention of the Chargers who selected him in the second round of the 2014 draft.

His first professional game was a very memorable performance for Chargers fans. Attaochu against the Arizona Cardinals in the season opener, had a strip sack, four solo tackles and blocked a punt. What a debut for the 50th overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Immeditley he showed his awareness and physical abilities.

This kid is going to be a very solid player. At the age of 22, Chargers fans are sure to see some growing pains, but the greatness of this man are going to outweigh any errors he commits on the field. Chargers General Manager Tom Telasco also predicts a breakout season from his young linebacker. “We are excited about him. We think he has a great future for us.”  The young man has many around the Chargers organization excited for his potential.

Attaochu missed five games last year due to injury. Managing to only play in 161 snaps for the team. He recorded 10 tackles and two sacks in limited time, but is going to be counted on heavily this coming season. He is currently penciled in as the starter opposite Melvin Ingram on the line. He needs to stay healthy and permit himself to learn the game.

If Attaochu can play most every snap for the Chargers this season, then the team will surely be in good shape. An edge rusher has been sorely missed in San Diego for seasons on end. If Attaochu can create some pressure on opposing quarterbacks then the Chargers will be satisfied with their return. He not only has the ability to edge rush, but can also cover an occasional tight end or running back out of the back field. That type of physical ability is what will keep Attaochu on the field for the Chargers. The sky is really the limit when it comes to this young man.

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