04/30/2012 - A closer look at the Bengals picks: Round 4/116 - Orson Charles, TE, 6-3, 251, Georgia...Tight end was thought to be the least of the Bengals needs going into the draft but they added competition to the group with a physical blocker who also is good as a receiver. - The Sports Xchange
Charles was already well known when he graduated from Tampa's Plant High School following a senior season that included 75 catches for 1,440 yards and 21 touchdowns at tight end.
He followed that by being named Freshman All-American at Georgia and went on to compile three-year career statistics that included 94 catches for 1,370 yards and ten scores.
He also blocked a punt against Vanderbilt last year and was s named first team All-SEC and to the Sporting News first-team All-American squad. He shows more athleticism than aggression in his game, but does show a mean streak on occasion. He works hard in the film room and classroom, where he earned Honor roll honors three years.
He did well on the bench at the Scouting Combine, lifting 225 pounds 35 times, but didn't run, saying he wasn't ready. Perhaps he should have left it at that. But he did run at his pro day, posting mediocre times (in 4.8-second range) while running with a strong wind.
A couple of nights later he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, which some might find understandable after a bad week, but probably not a great move while being scrutinized by NFL teams.
Release: Smaller than most tight ends and possesses short arms but has good upper-body strength to fight through an initial jam at the line of scrimmage and has the speed and athleticism to burn defenders for challenging him. Good burst off the snap to quickly slip past. Dips his shoulder to slip past the defensive end and shows a good rip to knock the linebacker's hands off him.
Hands: Reaches out to catch the ball away from his frame. Strong hands to pull down the contested reception. Has good hand-eye coordination and body control to turn and adjust to poorly thrown balls. Does struggle a bit tracking the ball over his shoulder and will turn back towards it and leap to catch rather than allowing it to float down to him, on occasion.
Route running: Good quickness off the snap. Very good speed for the position which he uses to attack down the seam well. Generates good burst out of his breaks to gain separation. His experience as a receiver in high school is obvious in how e uses shoulder fakes and varying his speed to get open. Used on a variety of routes as Georgia designed plays to get him the ball in space. Lined up next to both tackle as a traditional tight end, as well as in motion, as an H-back and split out in the slot. Has the burst off the snap to be split out wide in the NFL, as well.
After the catch: Good strength and effort to run through arm tackles. Good vision to set up his blocks and while he isn't quick enough to elude in tight quarters he can take advantage of a defender leaning to spring for additional yardage. Very good speed for the position. Has a second gear to accelerate that will make him a legitimate big play threat in the NFL. Has to do a better of keeping the ball tight to his body as he'll allow the ball to get poked out while fighting for extra yardage (Georgia Tech).
Blocking: Has obvious size limitations but might be the toughest pound for pound blocker among the 2012 crop of tight ends. Seems to enjoy the physical confrontation of blocking. Is willing to attack much bigger defenders with an explosive pop and good strength and competes to the whistle. Good effort at both stages on combo blocks. Looks to help out his teammates downfield. Was used as an H-back and even served as a lead fullback, on occasion.
Intangibles: Was among those listed by Miami booster Nevin Shapiro as players he had illegal contact with in an recruiting attempt for the Hurricanes... There were accusations of Charles accepting anything from Shapiro and he was not reprimanded by Georgia nor the NCAA... Named to the All-SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2009-10... Voted a team captain as a junior in 2011...