Hard Knocks star Nate Orchard signs with the Bills

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Hard Knocks star Nate Orchard is bringing his flaxseed energy cookies to Orchard Park as he recently signed with the Buffalo Bills.

Nate Orchard was a fixture on the Browns edition of HBO’s Hard Knocks this year. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a happy ending for the 2015 second-rounder who was cut on the final day of camp.

Orchard failed to record a sack in the preseason but did show signs of being a disrupter coming off the edge. Despite not sacking the quarterback, the fourth-year pro applied a team-high 10 pressures on the QB resulting in eight hurries and two QB hits over four games according to Pro Football Focus.

Perhaps Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott believes he can convert that disruptiveness into production.

But don’t be fooled into thinking this household name will make an immediate impact. Orchard has struggled over the last couple years of his career ultimately costing him his job in Cleveland.

Orchard started 11 games in his rookie season accruing 24 tackles and three sacks. He was limited to just three games in his second season after an ankle injury in Week 3 cost him the rest of the year.

The 25-year-old pass rusher hasn’t been able to recover since then and found himself in the free agent pool for the first time in his career last week.

At 6-foot-3, 255 pounds, Orchard has the versatility to play defensive end or outside linebacker. Perhaps that versatility is why the Bills opted to sign him. For now, he’s listed as a defensive end so we’ll assume that’s the plan.

With one player being signed to the 53-man roster, one man must go.

Just before announcing the Orchard signing, the Bills waived defensive tackle Adolphus Washington.

This shouldn’t come much as a shock considering he was rumored to be on the chopping block during the 53-man cuts last weekend. After a less than stellar game to open up the 2018 season, the Bills had seen enough of the three-year vet.

He finishes his Bills career with 36 tackles and only 3.5 sacks in 21 starts. With the additions of Star Lotulelei and Harrison Phillips over the offseason, the former regime’s 2016 third-round pick was easily expendable.

With another one of Doug Whaley’s draft picks ostracized from Buffalo, it’s almost as if his four-year tenure in the general manager chair didn’t even happen.

Whaley was axed from his job just days after the conclusion of the 2017 NFL Draft. Certainly, an odd time to let go of a front office guy, but a move the Bills felt was needed. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume Whaley didn’t have much say in how the picks were made on draft day that year and should hardly be considered “Whaley’s guys” or “regime holdovers”.

But nonetheless, Whaley was the GM of record during those 2017 selections and will be credited for the picks officially. But 2017 draftees aside, Washington was one of three previous regime players remaining on the roster when the Bills kicked off the 2018 season. With his release, that list is down to Shaq Lawson and John Miller.

As for Lawson and Miller, who knows how much longer they hang around. The 2016 first-round pass rusher has been relegated to a rotational role, while Miller is one-fifth of one of the worst offensive line in the league.

Considering Brandon Beane has been the Bills GM for less than 500 days, the rate he was able to overhaul this roster is astounding. Sure, Buffalo leads the league in dead cap money this season, but he’s almost completely erased the previous regime from the current day Bills.

He’s done some remarkable spring cleaning.

Washington is still young enough where a change of scenery can kickstart his career again. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive lineman has shown flashes of brilliance before and should get some workouts around the league. The only question with him is if he can be consistent with his efforts.

dark. Next. Three up and three down after Week 1

But we say farewell to another Whaley draftee and welcome a new player to town. It’s time to get down to business, Mr. Orchard.