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Texas OLB Acho has pass-rush burst

INDIANAPOLIS -- When Sirius Radio analyst Pat Kirwan reviewed his notes from the Senior Bowl, he identified Texas defensive end/outside linebacker Sam Acho as a possible Patriots target when it comes to adding juice to the team's pass rush.

Acho visited the media center here at the Combine this morning, and I came away impressed with the way he handled himself in his news conference. He was poised and polished.

Acho, who said he measured in at 6-foot-1 5/8 and 262 pounds, is that classic tweener who played defensive end in college but projects to outside linebacker in the NFL. He might not have prototype height, but he's shown explosiveness when it comes to attacking quarterbacks (19 sacks over the last two seasons).

His approach on pass rushing is straight-forward.

"Get to the quarterback, whatever it takes," he said.

While Acho has shown the ability to do that, one of the big things scouts are analyzing is his ability to drop into coverage. As a defensive end, it's not something he did often at Texas, although he does have some background in that area. He is projected as high as a second-round pick by analysts.

Acho spoke a lot about Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo, his former teammate at Texas, and how he made a similar transition from end to outside linebacker.

Now it's his turn to make that jump, and he's picked up momentum after a strong Senior Bowl performance.