Nearly all football players dream of playing in the NFL, but only a select few have the chance to join that elite group of players. Each February, hundreds of players are invited to the NFL Combine where coaches, scouts and many others conduct an intense workout to evaluate the players before the NFL Draft.
For two Georgia Tech football players–Jeremiah Attaochu and Jemea Thomas–that dream of playing in the NFL is starting to become a reality. Both Attaochu and Thomas will get their chance to participate in the 2014 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, and show the scouts how good their skills are.
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Jeremiah Attaochu will not be able to participate, as he has a partially torn hamstring. Hopefully he’ll be able to show his stuff at Georgia Tech’s pro day.
The combine workouts will be held from Feb. 22-25, with different positions being scheduled on throughout the weekend.
Combine workout schedule:
Saturday, Feb. 22: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teams
Sunday, Feb. 23: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
Monday, Feb. 24: Defensive linemen, linebackers
Tuesday, Feb. 25: Defensive backs
On Monday February 24, Jeremiah Attaochu will begin his quest with the on-field tests, which include workout drills and position drills.
Attaochu was one of Georgia Tech’s best defensive players to ever play at Bobby Dodd Stadium, recording 31.5 sacks, more than any other player in Georgia Tech history, and was one of the ACC’s top pass rushers. He is quick off the edge and pursues the quarterback very well. A true leader on defense while he was playing at Tech, his skills on the field and in the locker room will serve him well at the combine.
The NFL’s analysts say Attaochu is a relentless edge rusher who profiles as a 3-4 right outside linebacker and has the look of a long-term starter given his pass-rush ability, motor and makeup. They also believe he needs to gain some strength, since the players he will be lined up against will be a little bigger and stronger than the players he is used to playing against.
On Tuesday February 25, Jemea Thomas will be taking to the field to show the NFL scouts what he has to offer.
During Jamea’s career at Tech he played every position in the secondary because of injuries to his teammates. In 2009, Thomas was the back-up to Morgan Burnett, who now plays safety for the Green Bay Packers. After Burnett left for the NFL, Thomas became one of the hardest hitters on the team and proved he was a great open field tackler, by being second on the team in total tackles (86) in 2012 and leading the team with (73) solo tackles in 2013.
The NFL’s analysts say Jemea is very strong pound-for-pound and isn’t afraid to sacrifice his body. They know he is very durable, a player that will play through injuries and never missed any playing time. Thomas is easily mismatched against tight-ends and is player who has some, but not all of the necessary characteristics for two or more positions. They believe that Thomas will earn his way onto the field with his toughness, competitiveness and football temperament.
Both Jeremiah and Jemea have what it takes to play at the next level. I don’t know what round they will go in the draft, but when it comes down to achieving your dream of playing in the NFL, it shouldn’t matter what round you go in.
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