Carolina Panthers: Could Chris Orr earn a roster spot in 2020?

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Chris Orr
(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) Chris Orr /

Could undrafted free-agent linebacker Chris Orr stake a claim with the Carolina Panthers during training camp to earn a spot on the roster?

The Carolina Panthers did not manage to pick up a long-term replacement for legendary linebacker Luke Kuechly in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, they did end up with an intriguing college prospect in the undrafted free agent market.

Former Wisconsin inside linebacker Chris Orr was one of 17 players that didn’t hear their name called to end up with the Carolina Panthers. The player will now look to establish himself during training camp in the hope of securing a spot on the 53-man roster. And on the face of things he has a better chance than most.

The Panthers do not possess much in the way of depth behind projected starter Tahir Whitehead. They could do with an energetic young player to come in on a rotational basis and help on special teams during the early stages of their development.

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This is an area of the field they were expected to address during the Draft. But despite allocating every pick on the defensive side of the ball a linebacker was not chosen.

That will give the likes of Orr and Virginia product Jordan Mack huge confidence as they look to make a name for themselves at the next level. Both have some upside and it will be interesting to see if either of them can impress the coaching staff enough with what little time they have during training camp and preseason games.

Could Chris Orr earn a roster spot with the Carolina Panthers?

There is a lot to like about what Chris Orr could possibly bring to the table with the Carolina Panthers. Despite being only 6-foot tall, he is a ferocious hitter that possesses superb instincts relating to gap penetration.

His ability to finish off plays is another notable element to his game. And Orr’s ferociousness is further evident in his ability to impact on blitz packages.

The prospect ended his time with the Badgers on a high with 78 tackles, 11.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and five pass deflections. He is incredibly athletic and uses his low set of gravity to an advantage.

Orr represents an exciting and athletic proposition for the Panthers. They will fall in love with his tireless work ethic and ability to make plays. So it would not be a surprise whatsoever if the franchise ended up putting him on their 53-man roster.

There are some elements of Orr’s game that need work. His length could be a problem when it comes to getting off blocks in a professional environment. And his man coverage skills also need brushing up considerably.

He also suffered a torn ACL in 2016, which normally comes with a red flag and could have played a role in Orr being undrafted. However, the player seems to have made a full recovery and others’ loss could be the Panthers gain.

Orr has all the right sort of characteristics to make it in the NFL. His height and length might end up being a problem. But what he lacks in those areas, the player more than makes up for in production and energy.

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This will be yet another intriguing thing to keep an eye on during what promises to be a fascinating training camp for everyone associated with the Panthers.