SAN DIEGO -- San Diego Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said he saw flashes that confirmed why San Diego drafted Jeremiah Attaochu in the second round of last year’s draft. But with the rookie edge rusher missing significant time because of a hamstring injury, the Chargers need to see more from the Georgia Tech product in 2015.
The Chargers moved up seven spots in the second round of the 2014 draft, giving up a fourth-round pick to select Attaochu at No. 50 overall. Because of the lingering hamstring injury, Attaochu missed five games, playing in just 161 snaps as a rookie.
Attaochu finished with 10 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble last season. He also totaled six quarterback pressures and five quarterback hits.
He made a couple flash plays his rookie season, including a strip sack and blocked punt in last year’s season opener against the Arizona Cardinals, and a strip sack against the Oakland Raiders that was negated because of his facemask penalty on the play.
"We drafted him last year for a reason, because he was an excellent pass-rusher in college," Telesco said. "He’s got quickness, speed and hand use. He plays hard and he hustles. In a small amount of snaps last year he showed that. He showed it against Arizona. He showed it against Oakland. He’s shown it out on the practice field.
"If he was in this draft, we’d be heavily involved in trying to get him again. So we’re excited about him. We think he’s got a really great future as a pass-rusher for us."
One thing that Telesco said Attaochu needs to improve is simple -- more reps, not only in games but in practice.
"It’s huge," Telesco said. "And it’s more practice reps than game reps. Because rushing the passer -- and we talk about it -- it’s like batting practice. The more time you get in the batter’s box and take swings, the better you get. Well, with pass-rushing the reps you get in practice to work on moves and counter moves, it’s a repetition position, there’s no doubt.
"You have to have the physical skill, but a lot of it is a learned trait of how to rush the passer. The more work he gets out at practice, the better."