2015 NFL Draft: Browns select Nate Orchard with No. 51 Pick


Nov 22, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Utes defensive end Nate Orchard (8) sacks Arizona Wildcats quarterback Jesse Scroggins (15) during the second half at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Arizona won 42-10. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Browns selected Utah defensive end Nate Orchard with their second round pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, the 51st overall selection.

The Browns selected Orchard after making a trade with the Houston Texans to acquire additional draft picks. The Browns sent picks No. 43 and and No. 229 to Houston in exchange for picks No. 51, No. 116 and No. 195.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Orchard set a school record in 2014 with 18.5 sacks, while also leading the nation in quarterback knockdowns with 28. Orchard was second-team All-American and first-team All-Pac-12 in 2014, and won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s top defensive end. He finished second on the team with 84 tackles.

According to his draft profile at NFL.com, Orchard has:

"“Good foot quickness. Tackles struggle to handle his inside move. Explodes out of a track stance on passing downs. At his best as a squared-up rusher with a two-way go. Utilizes unique stutter step combined with burst to beat tackles inside. Seamless coordination of hands and feet as a rusher. Smooth hips to backpedal into space or turn and run laterally. Stronger at the point of attack than given credit for and offers scheme versatility. Shows juice upfield out of stand-up position. Still improving and learning his craft. Has ability to discard and make plays against the run. Has upper-body flexibility to beat blocker with shoulder turn. Still improving, but shows ability to use hands to help him win quickly. Played well against Stanford LT Andrus Peat.”"

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“I’ve got a great work ethic and I think that’s just hard to find,” Orchard told KSL.com in a story this week. “I’m just really passionate about the game, and I can’t wait for it to be a full-time job instead of being a student athlete. Football is going to be my life, and wherever I end up I’m going to be excited to be there.”

Orchard is married and the father of a young daughter, who he refers to as his “little princess,” and the fact that he has a support system in place at home could have been another selling point to the Browns and general manager Ray Farmer. After dealing with the suspension of Josh Gordon and the off-the-field problems of Johnny Manziel last season, the selection of Orchard and first-round draft picks Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving signal a shift in the team’s philosophy of looking for good players who are also good off the field.

What do you think of the Nate Orchard selection?

Next: Grade the Danny Shelton Selection