2017 UDFA Reports: Pitt TE Scott Orndoff

The draft is over but we’re not finished breaking down their prospects just yet. While we had a scouting report on every non-long snapper drafted, we didn’t write one on most of the Pittsburgh Steelers undrafted free agents. So we’ll be covering those names over the next several weeks.

Getting close to the finish line with our next-to-last UDFA report. Pitt TE Scott Orndoff.

Scott Orndoff/TE Pittsburgh – 6’4/7 253

The Good

– NFL size, length, and hand size, well put together overall (33 1/4 arms, 10 inch hands)
– Most work came out of a three point stance
– Capable blocker with tight hands and functional strength
– Able to steer and drive DBs out of the way in space
– Good football IQ, runs away from defenders and does well to find space
– Crisp route runner who doesn’t drift and gets proper depth
– Slightly better straight line speed than expected
– Shows ability to find the football vertically

The Bad

– Overall limited athlete who doesn’t show much explosion and isn’t a YAC threat
– Stands up too tall out of his stance as a receiver
– Trouble making catches in traffic, too many drops and double-catches
– Has to sustain blocks better at second level, falls off too eaily
– Much of production came via scheme, playaction and shovel passes, didn’t often have to create for himself
– Quiet statistically most games


– Two year starter plus five in his freshmen season
– Career: 58 receptions, 987 yards (15.5 average) 13 TDs
– 2016: 35 catches, 579 yards 5 TDs
– Local, PA product
– Father played football in the USFL

Tape Breakdown

I’ll give Orndoff this and correct myself at the same time. He isn’t the pure-blocker that I wrongly assumed when he was first signed. Now, don’t mistake that for him being some kind of terrific athlete. He isn’t. He may not even be average. But in a straight-line, he can scoot a bit and while stats can deceive, he did average over 15 yards per catch. That’s a healthy number.

And generally speaking, he is going to be blocker-first. He spent most of his time at Pitt in a three point stance so there shouldn’t be a huge learning curve there. He’s an above average blocker who can dominate DBs in space. Watch him clear the path vs Northwestern.

Though a marginally better athlete than I expected, I was disappointed with him as a receiver. Struggled with drops and contested catches.

I get this one vs Northwestern is really difficult but it’s 3rd and 10, late in the game, down by seven. Gotta make that catch. He doesn’t.

A tight end has to be able to make tough, contested catches. They do the dirty work in the middle of the field. That’s one reason why Heath Miller was so good even though he was never a remarkable athlete and faded even moreso by the twilight of his career. I don’t have enough confidence in Ordnoff to do so.

Another drop of his.

Not as good a blocker as David Johnson. Not as good a receiver as Xavier Grimble. While I think Orndoff will be generally competent in camp, I don’t imagine him landing on the 53. Practice squad will be his best chance. A slightly stronger, better version of Paul Lang, if you remember him, a player who was quickly discarded in camp a year ago.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Those who have coached Orndoff really like him—never having anything but good things to say about his talent, commitment, intelligence, and work ethic. I, for one, will be interested to see how he competes in training camp.

  • jeffjb292

    This is kind of unrelated but it came to mind when I got to the part of the article talking about Grimble and Johnson. If the NFL wants to avoid injuries why do they require teams to sit 7 players a game? Wouldn’t having more available players mean more sups? This would help stop guys from being over used and getting hurt playing multiple special teams packages and defense. High School and College teams don’t limit there man power this much why do the pros?

  • terrygordon30

    The league cares about injuries? What a premise to consider!!!

    A league that went from a 14 game schedule which was the limit in my opinion to 16 which was way tooooo long as far as injuries is concerned…. and then seriously considered lengthening the schedule some more? And add to this the three playoff weeks that lead up to the Super Bowl. And then there is the Super Bowl

    The NFL cares about injuries?

    You make a good point, and I commend you, but the NFL has a history of discarding good ideas such as yours.

    Convince them how much more money that they could make such as by plastering all sorts of ads all over the extra players…then you will be considered a genius.

  • jeffjb292

    I agree that the nfl doesn’t care as long as they make money. I was more or less thinking if that’s the company line why don’t they do something easy and obvious.

  • Rocksolid20

    catches more with his body than his hands .

  • stan

    I think he’s a likely practice squad guy too, but I’m a little higher on him than you Alex. I think he’s already a classic third tight end and that we’ll probably go with three tight ends coming out of camp and rely on Orndorff to be the fill-in in case someone gets hurt. His blocking alone will earn him a job in the NFL eventually and he’s not so bad at receiving that another team would be unwilling to make him a 2nd tight end with the ability to start if the normal starter is hurt. I think he’s going to be in black and gold either this year or next.

  • Michelob

    Considering the Steelers didn’t draft a TE, I think Orndoff at a minimum makes the practice squad and potentially the 53 man roster. I’ve seen this guy make multiple 50+ yard TD catches over his college career.

  • PaeperCup

    Man, woulda loved one of those guys available in the 4th.

  • VaDave

    The individual endorsements may be the next money maker. Heaven only knows, ratings are sinking like a rock. With today’s technology, I am surprised they haven’t been using the field as blue screen, like how they make the orange first down line, and put ads on the rest of the field. I can hear it now, “Hey, did you see that tackle on the Geico ad??” “No, I liked the one where the guy got smeared on Papa John’s Pizza”…..

  • VaDave

    No explosion, no yak, drops a lot of balls? Sign him up.

  • Michelob

    Do you watch college football or form your opinion off four gif files this blog puts up? I watched pretty much every game Orndoff played in college and he’s a solid player.

  • VaDave

    Guilty as charged your Honor. I’m equally as guilty riffing off of other people who’s opinion I greatly respect, as in this case. Still, I hear you. Have a good one.

  • Michelob

    No worries man, you too.

  • blue

    Orndoff can make some plays. Do one on Terrish Webb.