THE ROAD TO THE DRAFT
Sam Acho, OLB, Texas
6-foot, 262 pounds.
Draft projection: second or third rounds.
Lowdown: Acho won the Campbell Trophy, known as the “Academic Heisman.” It’s awarded based on academics, football performance and community service. Acho graduated with a grade-point average of 3.55 in business. He’s a two-time Academic All-America and has made several medical mission trips to Nigeria, his parents’ native country. On the field, Acho took over for Brian Orakpo with the Longhorns and had 19 sacks the past two years. The problem is, he’s short and not overly explosive off the edge. He will have to convert to linebacker. He did test well at the combine, running 4.68 in the 40 and posting a three-cone drill time of 6.69, a record for defensive linemen (which is deceiving because he’s a pro linebacker).
Acho on playing OLB: “I think the toughest part will be seeing the game from a different perspective. I’m so used to seeing the game as a defensive end. It’ll be a little bit different seeing it as an outside linebacker, probably playing a little bit slower with my hand up. I think it’ll be a little different, but I think I’ll be able to make the transition pretty smoothly.”