Projecting expectations for Jerry Attaochu

May, 15, 2014
May 15
7:45
PM ET
I took a look back at the 2013 draft for edge-rushers to find a reasonable expectation for San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu in his first season.

Among edge-rushers drafted in the first two rounds of that draft, BYU product Ezekiel Ansah had the most sacks his rookie season with eight. The No. 5 overall selection in the 2013 draft, Ansah started 12 games for Detroit, playing 532 snaps and finishing with 32 tackles, including two forced fumbles.

Of course, at 6-foot-5 and 271 pounds, Ansah is a base defensive end in a 4-3 scheme playing on one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL, so that’s not an ideal comparison.

The next best performer from the 2013 draft class was Barkevious Mingo. Selected No. 6 overall out of LSU by the Cleveland Browns, Mingo finished with five sacks and 42 tackles in 15 games played. Mingo played outside linebacker in defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s 3-4 scheme, which is more similar to Pittsburgh than San Diego’s version of the 3-4.

Out of the second-rounders, Southern Mississippi product Jamie Collins was the most productive. Selected No. 52 overall by the New England Patriots in the 2013 draft, Collins finished without a sack.

However, Collins played more the second half of the season due to Patriots injuries, finishing with 48 tackles in 16 games played, including eight starts.

The No. 3 overall selection in 2013, Dion Jordan was perhaps the most disappointing. The athletic University of Oregon product played all 16 games for the Dolphins with zero starts, finishing with just two sacks and 26 tackles.

As a group, edge-rushers from the first two rounds of the 2013 draft averaged two sacks and 339 snaps as rookies last season.

Of course, edge-rushers recently drafted by the Chargers have not been productive in getting to the quarterback. Larry English and Melvin Ingram finished with a combined three sacks in their rookie seasons.

Perhaps Houston Texans outside linebacker Brooks Reed is a fair measurement for Attaochu. Drafted in the second round at No. 40 overall as an outside linebacker, Reed started an average of 13 games in three seasons, averaged 31 tackles a season and totaled 11.5 sacks during that time.

Reed is similar in size to Attaochu and had comparable combine numbers coming out of the University of Arizona. He’s played in a similar 3-4 scheme to what defensive coordinator John Pagano has installed in San Diego. And Reed also is versatile; he could move to inside linebacker this season with Houston selecting Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 overall selection in this year’s draft.

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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