Nate Orchard led the nation in 2014 with 18.5 sacks for 118 yards and 21 tackles for loss for 123 yards. He amassed 84 tackles, forced 3 fumbles and despite being primarily and edge rusher, he defended 3 passes as well.Â Orchard also saw action as the stud linebacker.
Cas started “The Guys No One Is Talking About” series years ago and it has become one of the trademarks of Your Daily Cowboys Football Fix. We pride ourselves in providing our readers with the best scouting reports on the net. This series has produced numereous players who have gone on to have illustrious NFL careers. This post will feature DE Nate Orchard.
Will all of the players we profile in this series go on to be starters in the NFL? Absolutely not. Some may not make final cuts, some may be special team players, some complimentary players and or backups. However, the goal is to not only find those sleepers that 32 NFL GM’s missed on, but get these guys some recognition.Â Some of the recent success stories include: Justin Houston, Vontaze Burfict, Henry Hynosky, Arian Foster, Wes Welker, Cole Beasley, Tyrone Crawford, Buster Skrine and Kyle Arrington to name a few. All of the players from this series went from the middle rounds to undrafted. With all of that being said, we believe in Tom Landry’s three year rule. So… before you knock one of these guys because they were not 1st year starters, exhibit a little bit of patience. Some guys need a few years to develop. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Our philosophy is: anyone can write about all of the big-name media hyped players, but where is the challenge in that? We want to find the next stars who were “The Guys No One Is Talking About.”
Height|Weight: 6-4Â 256
40 time: 4.64
Official Utes Team Bio:Â All-America candidate is in his third year starting at left end … also sees time at stud linebacker in select packages … has played in all 49 games in the last three years with 35 starts … 24 career sacks is the fourth-most in school history while 37.5 career tackles for loss is the fourth most all-time at Utah … seven career forced fumbles is tied for third in school history while five career fumble recoveries is tied for fifth most … nine career pass breakups.
2014-Midseason All-American by CBS.com and Phil Steele … one of 12 semifinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award (College Lineman of the Year) and one of 20 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award (Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year) … leads the nation in sacks per game (1.46) and is second in total sacks (17.5) … 17.5 sacks is a school record while 113 yards off sacks ranks second in a season at Utah and is one shy of the school record … tied for fifth in the nation in tackles for loss (20.0 for 118 yards) and TFL per game (1.7) while ranking third in the Pac-12 in both categories … 20.0 TFL is tied for third most in a season at Utah while his 118 yards of losses from tackles for loss ranks fourth … second on the team with 81 tackles (51 unassisted) … named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week and CFPA Defensive Lineman of the Week against UCLA when he tied the school sack record with four and had a career-high 11 tackles … 10 tackles with 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble against Stanford earned him Pac-12 Player of the Week honors … 10 tackles vs. Arizona State … four TFL (two sacks) with five total tackles at Oregon State … forced a fumble against Oregon … recovered a fumble and had a pass breakup and six tackles against Fresno State … seven tackles, two sacks and a pass breakup at Michigan. (Editors Note: the above bio was done before seasons end. He finished the season with 18.5 sacks and 21 TFLs.)
- Nate Orchard has good height and length, but lacks ideal girth… He doesn’t have an explosive first step like a young DeMarcus Ware, but what he does have is a high football IQ… Good instincts and a non stop motor… Understands his assignments… Relentless in pursuit… Takes good angles… Tenacious and always plays through the whistle… Uses his hands well and plays with good technique.. Nice club, rip and swim moves… Uses his quickness to beat his man to the edge… Excellent on stunts and twists… Despite his lack of weight, he is solid against the run… Breaks down, wraps up and will take on the ball carrier head on… Deceivingly strong at the point… Does a nice job of getting through traffic… Decent lateral agility and moves well along the line… Good vision/read react skills… Always around the ball… Versatile: can play with his hand on the ground, or standing up…
- Nate Orchard, in my mind is a scheme restricted player… Tweener type… Could play OLB in a 3-4, but because of his lack of straight line speed, is better suited to play 4-3 DE in a system like the Tampa 2 that relies more on quickness and technique rather than size… Needs to improve his coverage skills… Needs to get stronger and add at least 10 pounds… If the blocker gets his hands on him he can be driven out of the way on run plays… Needs to protect his legs better… Needs to refine his technique…
Nate Orchard is what I refer to as a projection pick. He has the heart and motor to go far. I am a firm believer in the old Parcells proverb:
“we are not in the potential business, we are in the player acquisition business.”
Too many times scouts get so caught up with freakish athletic ability, they forget all about the most important traits:
- Work Ethic
Nate Orchard may not have all of that freakish athletic ability, but he more than makes up for it by possessing all of the above characteristics. Personally, I feel as though he is a perfect fit for they type of defense Rod Marinelli runs in Dallas. When I look at Orchard, I see exactly what I saw in DeMarcus Lawrence last year.