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Utah DE Nate Orchard works out for Bucs, Texans


Nate Orchard is dealing with some of the same questions that all smallish defensive end prospects endure before the NFL draft: Can he play linebacker? Can he fit a certain scheme? Can he handle pass coverage?

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He answered them the best he could with workouts last week overseen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans. But in a USA Today pre-draft diary entry, Orchard said the two clubs were looking for very different things from him.

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"With Tampa, they had me do a lot of D-line drills -- seeing how I turned my hips, how I bend. With the Texans, we did strictly defensive back drills," Orchard said. "The coach said he had seen me rush the passer enough and wanted to see me dropping back, how I move in space, how I turn my hips and run, breaking on the ball, see if I have soft hands. You never know, they might move me to safety after that. I did pretty good."

We'll assume the safety remark was written in jest by the 250-pounder who led the NCAA in sacks per game at 1.42. What's no joke at all is Orchard's potential as a pro. He was very impressive at the Senior Bowl and caught the eye of NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah in Mobile, Ala.

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"I love Nate Orchard and what he did this week," Jeremiah said. "The question of his size wasn't an issue at all. You saw his ability to get off blocks and get off the ball."

Orchard said Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was on hand to witness a work out, as well. He ran a 4.80 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and could attempt to improve on that mark at Utah's pro day this Thursday.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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