2015 NFL Draft Player Profile: Nate Orchard

Hailing from the Pac-12, Nate Orchard is a defensive end that played his college ball at Utah University.  The Cleveland Browns selected him in the second round with the 51st overall pick. At this past Senior Bowl, he was able to rack up five tackles and had two quarterback hits.  During the 2014 season, he tied for the lead in the FBS, and set a school record, with 18.5 sacks. At the same time, he led the nation in quarterback knockdowns with a total of 28. He was selected to the second team All-American and the first team All-Pac 12.  He also won the Ted Hendricks Award in recognition for being the top defensive end in the nation. When playing UCLA, he tied the school record with four sacks, and he finished second on the team with 84 tackles. During the 2013 season, he started all 13 games and forced three fumbles.

At the combine, Orchard put up decent, but not spectacular numbers. He had a 4.80 second 40-yard dash, 7.28 second 3-cone drill, 4.43 second 20-yard shuttle, and posted a time of 12.06 seconds in the 60-yard shuttle.  He also had a 31.5 inch vertical jump and 115.0 inch broad jump. A major strength for Orchard is his good foot quickness.  Opposing tackles struggle to handle his inside move, and he can explode out of a track stance on passing downs, which will be a plus at the pro level.  It is noted that he is best as a squared-up rusher with a two-way go.  He is also much stronger at the point of attack than many give him credit for, and he has some versatility in offering different types of schemes. He is still growing as a football player, and should continue to mature in the NFL.

Graphic via si

It is noted that a major weakness is that he is not much of a factor against the run.  He tends to get engulfed right at the point of attack, and it is perceived that he lacks a certain level of aggressiveness that would benefit him in the NFL.  He is not consistent when being set at the edge, and he does not usually look to lay his shoulder into fullbacks and tight ends who are coming across the field to block him.  He tries to win a battle with his foot speed over skill and counter moves, which will not serve him well at the next level.  All in all, many scouts believe he lacks the toughness to be a consistent started in the NFL, but the Browns obviously felt otherwise.  If he develops physically, with proper coaching he could prove the analysts wrong.  It might be a few seasons, however, before that verdict becomes known.

Graphic via cbssports

Add a Comment