49ers: Jeremiah Attaochu becomes an option at the “Leo” position

The San Francisco 49ers agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth up to $5.125M, per Ian Rapoport; with pass-rusher and former LA Charger Jeremiah Attaochu, who now will be in the mix for the “Leo” position. 

 

Who is Jeremiah Attaochu?

Attaochu, 25, standing at 6-3, 252lbs,, was a second-round pick of the Chargers in 2014. In his four seasons, he’s played in 38 games, starting 13 of those contests, accounting for 75 combined (see highlights) tackles, two forced fumbles, and 10 career ( six coming in 2015) sacks.

Pro Football Focus grade: 69.0 overall, 61.9 pass rush and 71.9 run defense in 59 total snaps

He’s had his share of injuries over the past two seasons, he’s missed eight games in 2016 with a high-ankle sprain and a broken foot and suffered a hamstring strain in 2017.

He’s played behind proven pass rushers in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram but wasn’t able to beat out a fellow teammate (five sacks in 2017) Chris McCain.

LA Chargers’ head coach Anthony Lynn’s comments back in September on Attaochu:

“At some point, we’d like to see what he can do,” Lynn said. “He’s been rehabbing since I’ve been here, so I know he can rehab.”

Injuries have helped derail Attaochu chances to make a consistent impact and be a disruptive force-to-be-reckoned-with throughout his young career. 

Forty-Niners’ General Manager John Lynch see’s Attaochu potential and would love to unleash it:

“Jeremiah has been quite disruptive during his career despite his limited opportunities playing behind some top-tier defensive ends,” said General Manager John Lynch. “He is a wonderful fit for our scheme and our locker room. We expect Jeremiah to be productive on defense, while also providing us an exceptional player on special teams. He’s another guy who fits the mold of a 49er.”

He’ll face internal competition for the “Leo” position

Eli Harold, Pita Taumoepenu, Cassius Marsh (recently signed an extension), Arik Armstead and now Attaochu are all in the conversation for the “Leo” position. The 49ers were only able to generate 30 sacks as a defense in 2017. Important to note: Expect the 49ers to add a pass-rusher in the 2018 NFL draft.

My Bottom Line

Attaochu can be a core special team’s player who can hopefully provide some depth and extra juice in the pass rushing department. Worst case scenario he’s a camp competition body that won’t make the final 53 man roster. 

To be continued… 

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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.comPro Football Focus49ers.comESPN.comNFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, player break down specialist, Co-Editor, Sequoia Sims