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Utah redshirt senior edge rusher Nate Orchard "projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker, and he showed good point-of-attack skills on the edge" during Senior Bowl practices, according to Scout's Inc.

"He also was able to convert speed to power as a pass-rusher, putting offensive tackles on their heels. While he isn't the best athlete, he showed he can hold up in space as a pass defender when asked to drop into coverage," wrote Todd McShay, Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl. The Utes prospect recorded 84 tackles including 21.5 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks in 2014. CBS Sports' Dane Brugler wrote this week that Orchard "keeps making positive plays" at Senior Bowl practices. NFL Media Analyst Bucky Brooks believes that Orchard is "is viewed as a bit of a "one-year wonder" following his remarkable spike in production as a senior.
Jan 24 - 7:12 PM

NFL Media analyst Charles Davis wrote that the "word is out that teams are intrigued" by Utah redshirt senior edge rusher Nate Orchard.

"Orchard entered the week looking to answer questions about whether he has the traits to play as an outside linebacker after playing with his hand in the ground at Utah," Davis wrote. "I think he proved he can make the transition to standing up. He can rush the passer and is stronger than you would think -- his bull rush surprised people. I saw him walk some offensive linemen back to the quarterback using his bull rush. One NFL executive asked me to please not tell anyone that his team really likes the former Utes star. His secret is safe, but word is out that teams are intrigued by Orchard." The Utes prospect recorded 84 tackles including 21.5 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks in 2014. NFL Media Analyst Bucky Brooks believes that Orchard is "is viewed as a bit of a "one-year wonder" following his remarkable spike in production as a senior.
Source: NFL.com
Jan 24 - 2:44 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein reports that Utah redshirt senior edge rusher Nate Orchard "more than held his own against powerful tackles such as Rob Havenstein of Wisconsin and T.J. Clemmings of Pitt in run-blocking drills" at the Senior Bowl.

"Orchard generated a ton of buzz during his senior season, finishing with 18.5 sacks, including five games with two sacks or more," Zierlein wrote. "Orchard came to Utah as a wide receiver but quickly moved to the defensive side of the ball, and he has steadily grown into his 255-pound frame over the last few years. Orchard is going to face questions about whether he is physical enough against the run, but he more than held his own against powerful tackles such as Rob Havenstein of Wisconsin and T.J. Clemmings of Pitt in run-blocking drills, and he also flashed the pass-rushing ability that helped him produce so many sacks during the 2014 season." The Utes prospect also recorded 84 tackles and 21.5 tackles for loss during his breakout campaign. An NFL GM told NFL Media in December that Orchard was a Day 3 prospect despite his consistent 2014 dominance, while an NFC scout told the website in November that Orchard "could be a dynamic pass rusher as a pro."
Source: NFL.com
Jan 24 - 2:02 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that Utah redshirt senior edge rusher Nate Orchard "keeps making positive plays" at Senior Bowl practices.

"I'm not as high on Nate Orchard as others but it's impossible to ignore him this wk. Keeps making positive plays, including an INT just now," Brugler tweeted. The Utes prospect recorded 84 tackles including 21.5 tackles for loss and 18.5 sacks in 2014. NFL Media Analyst Bucky Brooks believes that Orchard is "is viewed as a bit of a "one-year wonder" following his remarkable spike in production as a senior.
Jan 22 - 2:17 PM

Utah redshirt senior edge rusher Nate Orchard "could cement his status as a Day 2 prospect with a solid showing at the Senior Bowl," wrote NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks.

"It's amazes me how Orchard has flown under the radar for most of the season despite leading the nation with 18 sacks," Brooks wrote. "However, the Ute standout could be the talk of the town by week's end if he continues to display a knack for getting to the quarterback off the edge. Orchard is a crafty pass rusher with a non-stop motor, but scouts remain uncertain about his best position (defensive end or outside linebacker) at the next level." An NFL GM told NFL Media in December that Orchard was a Day 3 prospect despite his consistent 2014 dominance, while an NFC scout told the website in November that Orchard "could be a dynamic pass rusher as a pro."
Source: NFL.com
Jan 20 - 10:54 PM

Utah HC Kyle Whittingham signed a new four-year contract.

Less than one month ago, it appeared that Whittingham might be on his way out. His assistants were defecting without receiving promotions (DC Kalani Sitake and DL coach Ilaisa Tuiaki went to Oregon State and OC Dave Christensen took a lesser job on Texas A&M’s staff), and The Salt Lake Tribune reported "that the relationship between Whittingham and athletic director Chris Hill is severely fractured, perhaps irreparably." Apparently not. Whittingham will receive $2.6 million in 2015, and take home $100,000 raises in each year afterwards. "We appreciate the confidence and commitment the University of Utah has shown our program. We have a talented team returning for the 2015 season and we’re excited about the future of Utah football," said Whittingham. "The number one priority right now is finishing up another outstanding recruiting class."
Jan 17 - 1:54 PM

Utah junior RB Devontae Booker announced he will return to school in 2015.

"Over the break I had the decision of a lifetime to make about whether to go to the NFL or stay in school. I talked to my family, friends and coaches on the decision and I've decided to stay at the University of Utah for my senior season," Booker said in a statement. "I will earn my degree in sociology this spring and further my education in a minor in something else that interests me. I am excited to see what this season has ahead for the team and me, and this should be another great year for our program." The 5-foot-11, 210-pound former JUCO star rushed for 1,512 yards and 10 touchdowns this season, and is also a skilled receiver out of the backfield. Booker has been compared to Arian Foster and Tiki Barber. "He runs just like (Foster), same number, not a lot of [expletive] when he scores," one scout said of the Utes runner. "He's good. It's weird how much he's like Arian Foster. Just wait until they give him the rock more."
Source: NFL.com
Jan 14 - 7:47 PM

Utah junior T Jeremiah Poutasi could get moved inside to guard in the pros, CBS Sports' Rob Rang believes.

Rang and his colleagues at NFLDraftScout.com previously ranked Poutasi No. 8 amongst 2016 OTs. "The 6-foot-5, 322 pounder started the past two seasons at left tackle for the Utes but began his career on the right side," the analyst wrote. "The ability to switch positions could be critical for Poutasi as he looks like a candidate to move inside to guard. Poutasi can overwhelm defenders with his sheer size but he struggled with Southern Cal's speed and will, of course, see a lot more of it in the NFL." NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote last month that Poutasi is an "intriguing prospect" that is "pretty raw" but has "plenty of upside."
Source: CBS Sports
Mon, Dec 29, 2014 11:22:00 PM

TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline notes that Utah coaches expect junior RB Devontae Booker to enter the draft.

"Those close to the program inform me coaches at Utah are confiding they expect running back Devontae Booker to enter the draft," Pauline tweeted. The 5-foot-11, 203-pound Booker rushed for 1,512 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. The Utes RB is also a skilled receiver out of the backfield, hauling in at least four balls in each of the past five games. Booker is a dynamic talent that is able to create space in both the running and passing game, and has been compared to the likes of Arian Foster and Tiki Barber.
Fri, Dec 26, 2014 02:03:00 PM

Citing a source, draft insider Tony Pauline writes Utah junior T Jeremiah Poutasi is expected to enter the 2015 NFL Draft.

Poutasi earned praise earlier this season from NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah, saying he is an "intriguing prospect" that is "pretty raw," with "plenty of upside." Utah has already played their bowl game, so Poutasi has time to focus on the decision. Poutasi has experience at left and right tackle.
Fri, Dec 26, 2014 08:54:00 AM

Most scouts see Utah redshirt senior edge rusher Nate Orchard as "a borderline "Day 2 prospect," according to NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks.

"Speaking to several NFL scouts throughout the season about Orchard's talent and potential, I heard a wide range of opinions about his ideal role at the next level and where he should be taken in the draft based on his talent, potential and production. Most scouts viewed him as a borderline "Day 2 prospect" (Rounds Two and Three) due to his non-stop motor and production, but his questionable size and athleticism prevent scouts from getting fired up about his NFL prospects," Brooks wrote. The Utes prospect finished the season with 18.5 sacks, and surpassed Washington's Hau'oli Kikaha for the FBS lead for now. Brooks adds that Orchard is "is viewed as a bit of a "one-year wonder" following his remarkable spike in production as a senior."
Source: NFL.com
Mon, Dec 22, 2014 02:01:00 PM

In Saturday's game against Colorado State, Utah redshirt senior edge rusher Nate Orchard "made his living on third down, alternately using speed to challenge [Ty Sambrailo's] range or countering back inside," wrote CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"Orchard does not possess an electric first-step," Rang wrote. "By varying his rush, however, he leaves tackles off balance and forced to rely on their hands to grasp hold of his jersey. Orchard mitigates this with strong, active hands of his own, which he uses well slap away their reach and dance his way into the backfield." Orchard finished the much-anticipated matchup with one sack and a forced fumble. He finished the season with 18.5 sacks, at least for now hopping over Washington's Hau'oli Kikaha for the FBS lead.
Source: CBS Sports
Sun, Dec 21, 2014 12:15:00 AM

Utah redshirt senior edge rusher Nate Orchard recorded a sack in Saturday's 45-10 blowout win versus Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

In so doing, Orchard took over the national lead with 18.5 sacks. "The one-on-one battle between Orchard and Colorado State offensive tackle Ty Sambrailo had the feel of a heavyweight battle early on, but it was the Utes' star who got the better of the matchup and won on all cards in a unanimous decision," noted NFL.com's Bryan Fischer. "Orchard... was able to disrupt the Rams' offense on just about every play, no matter where he lined up." An NFL GM recently told NFL Media that Orchard is a Day 3 prospect despite the end's consistent 2014 dominance. "While the senior didn't stand up in an outside linebacker's stance, he did display active hands, dropped into coverage to break up a pass and was able to effectively play the run to limit a high-powered offense," Fischer wrote.
Source: NFL.com
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 09:57:00 PM

Utah junior RB Devontae Booker rushed 26 times for 162 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 45-10 victory over Colorado State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Booker now faces a big NFL Draft decision, and many believe he'll end up opting for the pros. It would be hard to blame him. Despite not taking over the running back gig full time until late September, Booker rushed for 1,512 yards and 10 touchdowns this season. He is also a skilled receiver who caught at least four balls in each of the past five games. So long as he's not fumbling, Booker's a dynamic back who creates space in both the running and passing game. An NFL scout compared him to Arian Foster in October, and NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah compares Booker to Tiki Barber.
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 09:36:00 PM

Utah junior QB Travis Wilson passed for 158 yards and a touchdown and ran for 91 yards and three scores in Saturday's 45-10 win over Colorado State.

The 91 rushing yards were a season-high for Wilson. After getting benched for a few games in October, Wilson turned his season around and ended it quite hot. The 6-foot-7, 233-pound Wilson will lead a Utes squad that returns most of its starters in 2015 and will be looked at as a darkhorse Pac-12 contender.
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 09:20:00 PM


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