The wait begins in earnest for Jeremiah Attaochu.
Attaochu’s agent said that he had a chance to slip into the end of the first round of the NFL draft, but the former Georgia Tech All-American was not selected in the first 32 picks Thursday night.
However, he seems to stand a good chance to be drafted in the second round Friday night, which is when most have targeted him to be taken, including agent Pat Dye Jr. The first round was productive for Attaochu in that a number of players ahead of him at his outside linebacker position were selected.
By the grades of the NFL website, for instance, Attaochu is the top outside linebacker on the board after Khalil Mack (Oakland), Anthony Barr (Minnesota) and Ryan Shazier (Pittsburgh) all were picked Thursday night.
Draft Insider slots him as the No. 5 remaining outside linebacker, behind Demarcus Lawrence (Boise State), Kyle Van Noy (BYU), Carl Bradford (Arizona State) and Chris Smith (Arkansas). Beyond different tastes, part of the reason for the discrepancy is that the NFL website lists Lawrence and Smith as defensive ends.
By the rankings of CBS Sports, Attaochu is No. 3 on the outside linebacker waiting list, after Bradford and Van Noy. ESPN ranks him as the top outside linebacker and the No. 4 overall player remaining.
The order of the top half of the second: 1. Houston; 2. Washington; 3. Cleveland; 4. Oakland; 5. Falcons; 6. Tampa Bay; 7. Jacksonville; 8. Minnesota; 9. Buffalo; 10. Tennessee; 11. New York Giants; 12. St. Louis; 13. Detroit; 14. Pittsburgh; 15. Dallas; 16. Baltimore.
Of those teams, Washington, the Falcons, Tennessee the Giants, Detroit were among those that showed interested in Attaochu in the pre-draft process either through a private workout, a visit to team offices or a formal interview at the NFL draft combine, though the value of such a clue is debatable. Teams sometimes will select players they haven’t made any contact with, attempting to keep their interest below the radar.
Were he chosen by the Falcons, he would be their first pick of a Tech player since Vance Walker was taken in the seventh round of the 2009 draft and the second since Keith Brooking was taken with the 12th overall pick in 1998.
The draft resumes with the second and third rounds Friday night at 7 p.m. The remaining four rounds will take place Saturday starting at noon.