Chris Orr Stands Out with Impressive Wisconsin Pro Day Performance

Jake Kocorowski

MADISON, Wis. -- Four Wisconsin Badgers received invites to the NFL Scouting Combine in late February.

Chris Orr was not one of them. 

Needless to say, the linebacker showed on Wednesday that he should have been given a chance to showcase his abilities in Indianapolis two weeks ago. 

"The combine invite is something that you always dream about when you're a younger kid, but honestly, it just added fuel to my fire," Orr told reporters after his performance. "It felt great to be out with my guys. I was comfortable all day, smiling, happy to see everybody, so I'm happy with today."

Orr should be smiling after his performance inside the McClain Center in front of all 32 NFL teams and 44 total personnel on hand. He ran an official 4.65-second 40-yard dash, which tied him with fellow Badgers 'backer Zack Baun with what the latter ran in Indy.

According to Orr, a hand-timed measurement of his speed was even faster.

"I know the lasers had me at 4.65 (seconds). A hand (time) had me at 4.57, so I was happy with that," Orr said with a laugh. "I'm gonna take the hand."

Orr's other stats from Wednesday's pro day, though, are more eye-popping -- especially when comparing how other draft prospects performed at the combine. According to NFL.com's combine tracker, his 4.08-second 20-yard shuttle would have been tops among all designated linebackers who participated in that test. His 6.99 three-cone drill would have placed him fifth in that group, and his 36.5" vertical jump would have had him ranked eighth. 

The DeSoto, Tex., native also bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times, demonstrating his strength. After performing those various drills, he finished up with on-the-field work that was led by former Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema, who now works as the New York Giants outside linebackers coach.

"He definitely got snubbed out of the combine," Baun said of Orr on Wednesday. "All of us were mad about that. While I've been going through the process and doing the interviews and they were like, 'What teammate would you bring with you?' And I always say Chris Orr.

"He's a brother to me, and I didn't say it because that, but the dude is just such a great leader, a great player, a great person that any team would be so lucky to have him."

Baun later added, "me being at the combine and looking at the guys that were there, he definitely deserved to be there."

Orr finished his Wisconsin career with consensus second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2019, recording 11.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and 78 stops overall. Those all ranked second on a unit that finished first in the nation in third down conversion defense, fourth in rushing defense and 10th in scoring defense. 

He admitted there was some frustration with not being invited to the NFL scouting combine as he believed that aforementioned track record, which also included being named a 2019 Lott IMPACT semifinalist, warranted the opportunity to take part in it.

Now having to wait his chance to work out in front of NFL scouts and personnel in Madison this week, Orr wanted to show that he could run.

"I'm pretty athletic," Orr said. "In our scheme, I didn't have to do too much, opening up and running and flipping my hips crazy. So I know that was a little bit of a knock on me, but I just wanted to show my athleticism, and I think I did that."

Looking at the next level, Orr believes he possesses a versatility that he can provide to NFL teams.

"I feel like I'm pretty good in the run game," Orr said. "I added pass rushing to my skill set. It's helped me out a lot, and I feel pretty solid in coverage."

In short, he believes he can provide everything.

"My football IQ is a bonus," Orr said. "You're gonna get a head-hunter on special teams, so I feel like I can do a lot."

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