OLB Nate Orchard
College Career: Three-year starter at Utah exploded as a senior, posting 18.5 sacks and 81 tackles. Was exclusively a 4-3 defensive end in college. Played wide receiver and defensive end in high school.
Strengths: Great size, athleticism and instincts with polished pass-rush moves. Tape is impressive. Motor is always running. Finds his way through traffic. Was very noticeable in Senior Bowl practices. Not the fastest guy, but closing speed is evident on tape. Stable life as he’s already married with a little girl.
Weaknesses: Projects better as a OLB, but only occasionally lined up in a two-point stance. Very little experience dropping into coverage. Made it clear at Senior Bowl that he would prefer to play as a 4-3 defensive end, but did say move to 3-4 OLB “wouldn’t be a problem.” Not very violent against the run, but can set the edge. Sort of a one-year wonder.
Bears Outlook: Orchard would be a great pick up in the second round if the Bears address a different position in the first. He doesn’t seem to be getting the credit his tape warrants, probably because he’s not as explosive as some of the other edge rushing prospects. The kid showed at the Senior Bowl that he can play though and he’d be able to put his hand on the ground periodically in Vic Fangio’s system.
More: Hoge’s Entire Bears Big Board
Adam Hoge covers the Chicago Bears for WGN Radio and WGNRadio.com. He also co-hosts The Beat, weekends on 720 WGN. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.