As one may be able to surmise from the title, the Steelers32 writing team will be enlightening readers with 20 NFL prospects in the next 20 days before the NFL Draft.
With the Steelers having eight picks in the upcoming draft, the writing team will highlight at least two prospects from each projected round. The team will start with prospects projected to be drafted in the seventh round; mixed in with at least one projected to not be drafted. The team will then make their way to the first round projected talent; ultimately ending with whom they expect the Steelers to draft 30th overall on April 27th.
Obviously this is not an exact science, hell, science is not even an exact science anymore. The writing team will start by looking at the Steelers’ needs, then move on to prospects they have met with and go from there. Obviously not every player in the 20-some pieces will have met with the Steelers as we would then have to change the name of the article.
With the very first article in our series, we start with a tight end by the name of Scott Orndoff. As of now, most projections have Orndoff as an undrafted free agent; however, he is an intriguing prospect nonetheless.
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As most fans know, the Steelers have been searching for the next Heath Miller, even before his retirement just over a year ago. The fans also know the team had a pleasant surprise out of their combo of Ladarius Green and Jesse James. With that being said, the Steelers and fans both would love more consistent play from the tight end position.
Orndoff’s height at the NFL scouting combine was 6-foot-5-inches and his weight was 253 pounds. Does the height and weight sound familiar Steelers’ fans? That could definitely be due to the fact that, other than being three pounds lighter, he is an exact replica of Miller.
Orndoff’s performance numbers from the combine had mixed results. He did however finish fifth among tight ends in the 60-yard shuttle, eighth in the 20-yard shuttle and ninth in the three-cone drill. Orndoff finished 12th among tight ends in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.84 seconds. Orndoff did improve his 40-time to 4.72 seconds at the University of Pittsburgh Pro-Day March 22nd.
What do all the numbers mean, you ask? Basically nothing; except Miller ran a 4.69 fast 40-yard dash and his slowest run was 4.90. Again, does than mean Orndoff is the next coming of Heath Miller who was a first-round draft pick? Not exactly; what it does mean is that he has the tools to succeed in the NFL and could given the opportunity.
What does the film say?
As most would assume, a prospect that is considered a seventh round or later selection, film is not just floating around everywhere. However, some of Orndoff’s highlights can be found here. If fans want to get real excited about his potential, watch Pittsburgh defeat Clemson here. Seriously, if you squint while watching Orndoff rack up 128 yards and two touchdowns versus one of colleges best defenses, you can see Miller.
Along with wearing the number 83, Orndoff’s ability to seal the end on the final touchdown of the game against Clemson should get scouts excited. The fact that Orndorff played in a pro-style offense should help his stock as well.
Obviously the film is not all positive when talking about Orndoff, otherwise we would not be talking about him going undrafted or in the seventh round. Although Orndoff is big and tall, he tends to catch the ball with his body much more than desired by NFL offenses. Orndoff’s hips also seem tight going into his routes and and his combine workout videos show less fluidity in his catches than most would like to see.
With a little insight from Brandon Kring of Fansided, we both agree, Orndoff has all the tools to at least be looked at as a hard working practice squad guy. A team like the Steelers may definitely want to look at him later in or after the draft should they pass on a tight end earlier.
With his work ethic and big-bodied blocking ability, Orndoff could easily work his way onto a 53-man roster as well. However, for right now, his stock is a seventh-round pick or later.
According to Walterfootball.com, the Steelers have already met with Orndoff locally. Obviously the meeting just means they have interest in the prospect; how interested is still yet to be witnessed.
For a team like the Steelers that could use another tight end, Orndoff could be late-flyer worthy of taking multiple looks at. Will the team that takes the tall tight end be getting a potential superstar? With some work and the right landing-spot, nothing points towards it being impossible.
Justin Ekstrom covers the NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers for cover32, be sure to follow along on Twitter and Facebook. Be sure to check back daily to see the other 19 prospects as we work our way closer to the 2017 NFL Draft.