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2014 NFL mock draft: Jeremiah Attaochu to Detroit Lions at No. 45

Could Jeremiah Attaochu be the Detroit Lions' very own flamethrower?

Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions, in transition defensively moving from the Jim Schwartz and Gunther Cunningham regime to the Jim Caldwell and Teryl Austin regime, are in the market for some pass rushing help for one of the league's least-productive teams in terms of sacks. Sean Yuille of Pride of Detroit is addressing that issue with his second-round pick in the 2014 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft.

Team Player Pos. Ht Wt Class
45. Lions Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech OLB 6'3 252 SR

"After having Jake Matthews slip to me in the first round, I was hoping to land a player like Kyle Van Noy or Jimmie Ward in the second round. Neither player made it to 45, though, leading me to instead go with Georgia Tech pass rusher Jeremiah Attaochu, who had a career-high 12.5 sacks as a 4-3 defensive end last season.

Attaochu might actually be better suited for a 3-4 defense that would allow him to strictly play outside linebacker. At the same time, the Lions could use a pass rusher who is skilled enough to play 4-3 OLB on more than just a situational basis. So is Attaochu really a good fit? Well, as Jim Caldwell recently said, more than anything the Lions need a 'flamethrower' who can get after the quarterback (as evidenced by them finishing 28th in sacks last season). Attaochu can definitely do that, and he should be able to immediately serve as a situational pass rusher from the defensive end position for the Lions. As he gets more comfortable in the Lions defense, perhaps he could play more outside linebacker, especially if the new defensive coaching staff uses more 3-4 looks.

If this mock draft were to go another couple rounds, I’d likely set my sights on adding help at wide receiver, center and safety with the Lions’ next few picks."

Dan Kadar, SB Nation's NFL Draft analyst, has some thoughts and opinions to share on the Lions' mock draft pick of Attaochu:

The Lions need a pass rusher, everyone knows as much. Whether it's at end to replace Willie Young or at linebacker, the need is evident. Attaochu is a player who can line up at both spots. That's what he did at Georgia Tech and led him to the Senior Bowl. While Attaochu is limited some as a pure linebacker, he fits fine at the position as a pass rusher. As an end in nickel situations, he can put his hand in the dirt and use his quickness to get past offensive linemen. If there's a Leo, wide-9 type of pass rusher in this year's draft, it's Attaochu.

NFL Mock Draft

Our last pick of the day, publishing at 3 p.m. ET, is from Neal Coolong of Behind the Steel Curtain for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Top 5 players remaining

# Player Pos. College Ht. Wt.
12 Louis Nix III DT Notre Dame 6'2 326
35 Demarcus Lawrence DE Boise State 6'3 251
38 Jace Amaro TE Texas Tech 6'5 265
39 Antonio Richardson OT Tennessee 6'6 336
41 Scott Crichton DE Oregon State 6'3 273

2014 SB Nation NFL writers' mock draft results

Lions picks

Rd # Team Player Pos. College
1 10 Detroit Lions Jake Matthews OT Texas A&M
2 45 Detroit Lions Jeremiah Attaochu OLB Georgia Tech