Head coach Anthony Lynn has said on multiple occasions this off-season that he believes the Chargers’ linebacker group needs more depth. That’s why he and Tom Telesco went out and signed Nick Vigil from the Bengals but I don’t think that solves the initial lack of depth, especially after the team let three linebackers go last month, alone.
According to Justin Melo of The Draft Wire, the Chargers have met with former Wisconsin linebacker Chris Orr, a 6’0, 224-pound defender who showed a knack for getting after the quarterback alongside fellow teammate and draft prospect Zack Baun.
Orr played in 10 games as a true freshman for the Badgers back in 2015. He managed 46 total tackles, two tackles-for-loss, and a half a sack. Coming into his sophomore season, Orr was expected to play a much larger role for the defense. However, that year lasted all but one play as he wound-up tearing his ACL on the very first snap during their week one match-up with LSU.
After utilizing a redshirt, Orr returned to play in nine games during the 2017 season. He got right back in the swing of things, posting 37 tackles, four tackles-for-loss, three sacks, an interception returned for a touchdown, and a forced fumble. As a junior, Orr managed to play in just eight games and recorded a career-low 27 tackles, a single tackle-for-loss, and one interception. This shouldn’t be looked down upon as he was stuck behind the likes of T.J. Edwards and Ryan Connelly. He saved his best season for last as he and Baun teamed-up to become a quarterback’s worst nightmare in 2019. After the Badgers managed just 19 sacks the previous season, they exploded for 50+ this year as Orr had 11.5 all to himself. He also added career-highs with 78 tackles and 14 tackles-for-loss.
Chris Orr just murdered someone pic.twitter.com/asf661xaVW— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) October 19, 2019
Orr played all around the defense but spent most of his time as an inside linebacker in their 3-4 defense. Most recently, he was inside as a senior but would still work around the defensive front when tasked with seeking out the quarterback. He has the versatility that Chargers’ coaches love to see and he proved to be a pretty good athlete at his pro day on March 13.
His marks of 4.65 in the forty, 4.08 in the short-shuttle, and 6.99 in the 3-Cone drill would have ranked 13th, first, and fifth, respectively in each event were he to have been invited to the scouting combine. He also posted a 36.5-inch jump in the vertical and 20 reps on the bench press.
I think it’s safe to say that Orr is likely destined for a landing spot on day three of the draft. While he had phenomenal production this past season, his size will be a concern to some teams. However, the Chargers have a habit of drafting smaller, more athletic linebackers so I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Orr on this team in 2020.