On Tuesday, Nate Orchard officially weighed in at 251 pounds and measured 6-foot-3. With his size, he is considered a “tweener.” However, Orchard is comfortable playing with his hand in the dirt or standing up.
Orchard showcased a well-rounded skill-set on Tuesday and jumped off the field. He was dropping back into coverage, setting the edge in the run game and giving the tackles fits as he pursued the quarterback in the backfield.
But, mostly, he was doing what he does best: wreaking havoc in the backfield. And it’s a trait that NFL teams covet.
However, Orchard believes he’s a well-rounded prospect and not just a one-trick pony.
“I’m able to drop back in coverage and have my hand in the ground,” Orchard said. “As long as I get in my playbook and know what I’m doing, I have fun being able to do both.”
It’s still early in the process for the North squad, but Orchard likes the level of competition he’s experienced with his fellow teammates. He’s welcomed the opportunity to go up against a variety of highly touted guys from around the country.
”It’s been great. Great competition, you know, to go up against guys from different conferences,” he said. “You get a feel for what it’s like, obviously, going against the best of the best at each of these positions.”
The winner of the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the nation’s top defensive end, had a phenomenal senior season at the University of Utah, setting a school record for sacks with 18.5.
He was a disruptive force for the Utes defense and a leader in the locker room. Orchard is also a high-character guy, which will likely translate in his interviews with pro scouts this week.
Still, Orchard feels like he has room to grow and more to learn and has relished the opportunity to work with the Ken Whisenhunt and his Tennessee Titans staff.
When asked what he’s learned working with them, Orchard said, “You got to have attention to detail. Little things really matter. You don’t want to mess up because when you do it’s going to cost the rest of the team.”
Orchard had a great first day with the North squad. If he can keep flashing each practice and use it as a means to peak in the Senior Bowl and make plays, he could see his draft stock shoot into the first round conversation.