Orson is an excellent pass blocking Tight End. He does a great job handling the speed pass rushers, slowing down and stopping bigger college level DE's. He is also excellent at blocking in space, because of his athletic talents, which means he can be used as an H-back. He has excellent change of direction ability and lateral agility. I believe he is going to light up the combine with his Vernon Davis like workouts. Orson runs good routes because of his athleticism and is very quick in and out of his breaks, but right now his blocking is his strength -- particularly his ability to block in space. Orson looks on film to be an excellent teammate and because of his blocking prowess was used mostly to assist in pass blocking because the offensive line in general struggled in this area.
Right now Orson is very raw at running routes and is thrown around on the line when he is run blocking at the college level. In-line run blocking is a big problem for him because of his size, but his pass blocking on the line is very good because of his athleticism, excellent techniques and strength. Orson's biggest problem is that he has to prove he can catch the ball with his feet moving. Most of his catches are stop routes and curls. If he wants to be a true weapon in the passing game, he will have to prove he can catch down field like a wide receiver. He also doesn't show any instincts when running routes such as breaking off routes when needed, turning his head around early when he sees blitzes, etc. He looks like a hard worker, but I'm not convinced he has the football intelligence and understanding of an impact pass catcher at this point of his career. If he proves he has the hands to go up in traffic while running the route tree, then Orson will impact very much like Vernon Davis does for the 49er's. If he struggles to catch the ball down the field more than twenty yards off the line, he becomes a core player but not an impact player. The combine and workouts will be big for Orson. I think, given time, Orson will improve as a pass catcher and become a weapon.
If you draft Orson you are guaranteed an excellent pass blocker and, in space, blocking, football player. He might wind up as a great third down back and that alone will be worth drafting Orson. Vernon Davis made his mark at the combine and so can Orson. There are a lot of questions to Orson's ability to catch passes only because of the way his team used him and not because of anything I see on film. That's why I'm expecting Orson to go to the combine and prove he can catch the ball like a wide receiver. If he can't do that right now I suspect he will in the future once he has the right coaching. I think given the time Orson will become a weapon, but this is a very talented football player and waiting too long to take him in this draft might be a big mistake. You might be passing on the same type of talent that Vernon Davis has! Think about it. If Orson's runs well at the combine he could move up into the first round, but for me, I think he will take a little time to compete and become an impact player because he lacks the instincts and has to prove he has the hands to be a true pass catcher in the NFL.
The BS Detector
Drew Boylhart Feb /12