TOJ Instant Reaction: Jets sign Jerry Attaochu

Dan Essien with instant reaction to the New York Jets signing Jeremiah Attaochu.

It’s been a mystery what the Jets plans are for the edge position for this season after the Bears outbid them for Khalil Mack amidst a bunch of roster cuts. With Jordan Jenkins, Josh Martin, and Brandon Copeland the only true OLB’s on the roster many wondered if they’d address the position again before week 1. Well, they made an addition today.

The Jets signed Jerry Attaochu this afternoon after bringing him in for a visit yesterday. Attaochu is only 25 years old, and he stands at 6’3″ 250 lbs. He spent the beginning of his career in 2014 with the Chargers where he was a part of a very crowded edge defender group that included the likes Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. This offseason, Attaochu signed with the 49ers and barely missed making the final 53, before landing with Jets today.

Coming out of college, Attaochu was a projected second round pick with high marks for pass rushing potential and an excellent motor. He had 12.5 sacks in his final season at Georgia Tech. So far in his NFL career, Attaochu has had 10 career sacks which is more than any OLB on the Jets current roster. His best season with the Chargers was in 2015 when he had 6 sacks in 12 starts. That season was Attaochu’s highest usage with the Chargers. Melvin Ingram coming back into form, and Attaochu dealing with his own injury, hampered his production in the following seasons.

Attaochu fits well as an OLB in the Jets 3-4 base defense, and also as a rush end on passing downs. We all know the Jets have had a need for a legit pass rusher for a while. Attaochu is arguably better at getting to the quarterback than any outside linebacker on the current roster. The Jets coaching staff already got a lot out of someone like Josh Martin. If Attaochu stays healthy, this could be a perfect opportunity for him to reach his potential.