Colts Impressed with Utes Nate Orchard at Utah Pro Day
According to Chase Goodbread, a College Football 24/7 writer for NFL.com, the Indianapolis Colts attended the University of Utah’s Pro Day yesterday and their scouts came away very much impressed with Utes edge rusher Nate Orchard:
"Utah: Colts work out OrchardBig draw: DE Nate OrchardDon’t forget: DB Eric RoweNotable attendees: Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and Colts coach Chuck Pagano were reportedly among 50 or so scouts on hand.The skinny: The Utes’ top prospect, Orchard, passed on the 40-yard dash, according to Carter Williams of desertnews.com, after turning in a 4.80 clocking at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. However, he did take part in position drills at both outside linebacker and defensive end, and a Colts scout praised Orchard’s ability to catch the ball during his drills. However, NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt reported that most teams believe he’ll have a tough time being a rush/drop OLB. Orchard also said he had dinner with Cleveland Browns representatives Wednesday night, according to sltrib.com."
While some teams view Orchard as a stand-up outside linebacker, it sounds like the Colts may prefer him at defensive end per an additional report from WalterFootball.com:
"“Nate Orchard completed 23 reps on the bench and looked terrific in position drills. I’m told since last night, Orchard met with the Cleveland Browns, who project him to linebacker, the Indianapolis Colts, who project him to defensive end, as well as the Minnesota Vikings at length.”"
However, Orchard would have to add significant weight to play as an every down 3-4 defensive end, as his listed weight of 250 pounds clearly isn’t enough to play as anything more than a situational hand on the ground pass rusher with the Colts.
The breakout edge rusher is coming off a senior season with the Utes in which he recorded 84 tackles, 21.0 tackles for loss, and an impressive 18.5 sacks. He’s projected to become a Round 2-3 selection in this year’s NFL Draft.
Whatever the case may be, Colts scouts were clearly impressed with Orchard’s impressive physical measurables, specifically his exceptional ability to catch the football:
Jan 21, 2015; Mobile, AL, USA; North squad tight end Nick Boyle of Delaware (86) battles defensive end Nate Orchard of Utah (99) during Senior Bowl North squad practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports