Utah defensive end Nate Orchard has a fantastic first step and excellent footspeed. He’s great at using his agility to get past offensive linemen and possesses a fantastic stutter-step that can throw off almost anyone not expecting it. His explosiveness don’t only rest in his feet though. He has also shown great hand speed and can use his arms well to get separation if he fails to accomplish it with his feet.
However, there is concern that he lacks the upper body strength to work against offensive linemen at the NFL level and that he needs to bulk up to fill out his frame. In addition, Nate Orchard struggles in run support and has been criticized for a possible lack of aggressiveness despite having a great motor.
Nate Orchard will find himself going to a team that is desperate for a pass rusher who thinks that they can coach him into becoming a better player in run support and have him gain upper body strength. He’s predicted by most to be a second round draft pick, but I personally think that evaluation might be a bit generous.
Aug 29, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes defensive end Nate Orchard (8) between plays during the first half against the Utah State Aggies at Rice-Eccles Stadium. The Utah Utes won 30-26. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 250 pounds
- Arm Length: 33 3/4″
- Hand Size: 10 1/8″
- 40 Yard Dash: 4.80 seconds
- Bench Press: N/A
- Vertical Jump: 31.5″
- Broad Jump: 115″
- 3 Cone Drill: 7.28 seconds
- 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.43 seconds
- 60 Yard Shuttle: 12.06 seconds
Nate Orchard is the #51 overall prospect according to CBS Sports and is their #7 rated defensive end. They project him to be a second round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.
NFL Player Comparison
Fit For The Vikings
The Vikings will be looking to add depth and competition to their current group of defensive ends and could look for more pass rushers to add to their pass rush packages.
As much as I love the agility and hands that Nate Orchard has, he’s got enough problems that I couldn’t see Minnesota using their first or second round drat picks on him. By the time the Vikings third round draft pick comes around, Orchard should be off the board by a team much more defensive end needy than Minnesota.
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