Kurt Warner. James Harrison. Dick “Night Train” Lane. Antonio Gates.
Over the years, there have been several undrafted free agents who have left indelible marks on the game of football. Despite not being seen as worthy enough of an NFL Draft selection, these players have overcome the odds and have gone on to become successful NFL players.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to take a look at of 10 of the undrafted free agents that the Chicago Bears signed this offseason to try and determine who stands the best chance of making it to the 53-man roster. In this article, we’ll take a look at the seventh player on the list: safety Nick Orr.
Nick Orr spent the last four years at TCU, playing safety for three of them and cornerback in his first. He ended his collegiate career with nine interceptions, 20 pass deflections, 205 tackles and two forced fumbles. He was a three-year starter who was voted First-Team All-Big 12 last season and Second-Team All-Big 12 in 2016. He stands in at five-foot-ten and weighs 187 pounds.
The only individual cut-up for Orr is from 2016, but there are highlights from 2017 online that can show a slight glimpse into his game.
Orr is a bit undersized for a safety, but he has enough promise to translate as a safety at the next level. As a tackler, he can diagnose plays well, and he takes good angles to the ball carrier on a consistent basis. He tends to be a shoe-string tackler at times - meaning that he aims to bring the runner down by his feet rather than form tackling - and he can improve on sinking his hips when tackling, but he gets the job done more often than not. He also delivers a solid pop when trying to break up passes.
Orr is also a solid athlete in coverage. He has experience as a single-high safety, a two-high safety, and a safety in the box, so he should be a good fit in just about any scheme at the professional level. He’s good at accelerating out of his breaks, and he has enough deep speed to chase down speedy receivers. Orr has good ball skills and, even though he dropped an interception in the first play of the cut-up above, has shown that he can track the ball down and make the interception. His lack of size makes it tough for him to box out taller receivers in red zone situations, and he really doesn’t have a lot of physicality in coverage.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
Orr is the only new safety on Chicago’s roster, and, with only four other safeties on the team, could be a dark horse to sneak on as a special teams player with an impressive camp. However, the more likely scenario is that he makes it onto the practice squad and gets the chance to try and make the team next year.
Jacob Infante is a Chicago Bears writer at SB Nation’s Windy City Gridiron. He is also an NFL Draft writer at USA Today SMG’s Draft Wire. He can be reached through Twitter @jacobinfante24 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.