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Nate Orchard's best fit in the NFL would be with...

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Nate Orchard projected to be drafted anywhere from the second round to sometime in day three of the draft. Which NFL team provides the best fit for the former Mayor of Sack Lake City?

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, these are a few of the NFL teams reported to have interest in former Utah defensive end Nate Orchard. The former Mayor of Sack Lake City has rocketed up draft boards in the past year after posting an 18.5 sack season and having an impressive showing at both the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine. At 6-3 255 lbs., Orchard's position in the NFL is a highly debated topic, as many NFL scouts envision him moving to an outside linebacker position in a 3-4 scheme (Browns, Texans and Colts) while others see him as an edge rusher in a 4-3 scheme (Bucs, Seahawks, Falcons, Jaguars). So which organization would be able to maximize the talents of Nate Orchard? Which team would set him up for the best chance to have success in the NFL?

The Seattle Seahawks seem to be the best fit for an athletic, undersized defensive end looking to have success in the NFL. The success of Seattle's defensive line in recent years is no secret after back to back Super Bowl appearances, which included maybe the best defensive showing ever in a Super Bowl in 2013, when the defense was able to hold the Denver Broncos record setting offense to only 8 points. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is a defensive mind and he and his defensive coaches are able to get the very best out of players other NFL teams discarded or didn't know what to do with.

The Seahawks run a 4-3 base defense with an occasional 3-4 hybrid look. The Seattle defense has a position called the LEO, which is essentially a speed rush end, which lines up on the weak side. This position has Nate Orchard's name written all over it.

The knock from NFL scouts on Orchard playing defensive end is, he is undersized and a finesse player that isn't ready be an every down defensive end. With Seattle's LEO position, Orchard would only be counted on to provide the skills he already excels at, that is, getting off the edge and pressuring the quarterback on passing downs and disrupting the backfield. That isn't to say Orchard couldn't eventually develop into a more complete player, but early on in his career, he would be positioned for success when he was on the field. The Seahawks like to run a deep rotation along their defensive line constantly switching guys out, meaning Orchard would only be on the field in situations where his skills would be beneficial and his weaknesses would not likely be exploited. Learning from guys like Michael Bennett, and Cliff Avril would only help Orchard ease into playing against NFL caliber offensive lineman.

One indication that Seattle would be an ideal fit for Orchard, is the success of a former Seahawk who Orchard very much resembles. That player is current Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Chris Clemons. Orchard and Clemons have a similar size (both 6-3 weigh in the 250 lbs. range) and speed. Clemons was undrafted and kicked around the league for six years with middling success with the Eagles and Redskins until he was traded to Seattle in 2010. Clemons was moved to the LEO position, where he was able to take advantage of the pass rushing skills he possessed and minimized his weaknesses. The result was Clemons exploded for a career high in tackles and sacks in 2010 and followed it up by recording double digit sacks for three straight seasons and doubling his season totals for tackles prior to arriving in Seattle.

Clemons was released by Seattle after the Super Bowl XLVIII as a cap casualty and in 2014, the Seahawks failed to provide the same pressure without a pure speed rusher at the LEO position. Drafting Orchard would provide the Seahawks with a nearly identical skill set as Clemons had, but in the body of a 22 year old. Orchard would benefit by playing on arguably the best defensive unit in the NFL, where he could learn from the best in the league without being relied on for things he isn't yet ready to do. In addition, the skill set he already possesses would be utilized to its full potential.

Where Orchard ends up is any one's guess at this point. It's very possible he'll go to a team with plans on moving him to outside linebacker. Orchard's strength is rushing the passer however. If Orchard winds up with a veteran team that allows him to pin his ears back and play in a familiar position  of weakside defensive end, his odds of becoming a successful player in the NFL will be greatly increased.