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Jets Roll the Dice on Talented, oft Injured Edge Rusher

Even in an off season that has seen the Jets fill some of their biggest needs by drafting quarterback Sam Darnold and adding cornerback Trumaine Johnson, their roster is still devoid of any player who poses a legitimate threat to get to opposing quarterbacks.  After reportedly refusing to part with a pair of first-round draft choices to acquire former Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack, it’s back to the drawing board for Mike Maccagnan who hopes he may have found a diamond in the rough.

The Jets signed little-known free agent linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu, formerly of the Chargers and 49ers who, in 38 career games (10) starts, has notched 10 sacks.

His 10 career sacks are 1.5 more than the Jets top three outside linebackers have registered in their careers as Jordan Jenkins (5.5), Josh Martin (2.5) and Brandon Copeland (0.5) have combined for just 8.5 sacks since entering the league.  And as you can see from the tweet above, his 48 total pressures a few seasons ago would have far outpaced anyone on the Jets roster last season.

So why was Attaochu available this late in the offseason if he has shown he has the ability to get to opposing quarterbacks?  The most likely answer at this point would have to be durability issues.

Attaochu missed significant time when he was hampered by a high ankle sprain and a broken right foot in 2016 before missing time with a hamstring in jury in 2017.  Missed time due to injuries and a drop in production led to Attaochu falling out of favor with a coaching staff that sat him for much of the year.

While Attaochu’s pro football focus grade of 69.2 this preseason with the San Francisco 49ers is far from dominant, it’s better than any grade a Jets got from any of their outside linebackers who played a minimum of 30 pass rush snaps.

Clearly the move doesn’t rule out the possibility of team adding another edge rusher via trade as head coach Todd Bowles acknowledged yesterday when addressing the media, but if the Jets can get Attaochu to play at a level anywhere near what he did just a few seasons ago, it will go a long way toward fixing what ails their defense.

 

 

 

 

This Article Was Written By Glenn Naughton

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Glenn was Born in the Bronx, New York and has followed the Jets religiously despite being stationed in several different countries and time zones around the world. He now resides in England and has been a JetNation member since 2005. Glenn will bleed green with the rest of us through the highs and lows.