In three years at Georgia, Orson Charles established himself as a dynamic pass catcher at the tight end position. A First Team All-America selection as a freshman, Charles increased his productivity each of his three years with the Bulldogs. He was also named to the athletic director’s Honor roll at least once in each of his three years in Athens. Charles’ career culminated with a Junior campaign where he started all 14 games for the Bulldogs, notching 45 catches for 574 yards and 5 TD’s as a first team all-SEC selection.
A four-star recruit out of Plant H.S. (FL), Charles was the #1 ranked TE prospect out of Florida in 2008. He led his team to a AAAA title with 6 catches for 132 yds and 2 TD’s as a senior. Charles joined his high-school QB, Aaron Murray, signing with the Bulldogs in 2008.
-Speed and Playmaking ability create mismatch opportunities against LB’s
-Durable- starting all 14 games as a junior.
-very strong- 35 bench press reps at combine
-leadership- Offensive captain at Georgia, made honor roll 4 times, inducted into Student Athlete Leadership Academy at Georgia.
-Shines in big games- career high 6 catches, 109 yds & td vs. #5 Boise State. Also had 6 for 108 & td against Florida in 2010, and 5 for 95 yards against in-state rival Georgia Tech.
-Blocking- although improved, will need work at the next level to block larger defensive targets
-Drops- inconsistent in pass catching, some drops coming in open space
-Undersized at 6’2″
-DUI arrest in March raises character red flag
My take: This pick adds incredible depth at tight end, where Charles can come in and learn behind starter Jermaine Gresham and veteran Donald Lee. He can fill a niche role as a 2nd tight end and give defenses mismatch problems while learning the offense as a rookie, so Cincinnati is a great situation for Charles. The Bengals continue their recent trend of finding good depth in the middle and late rounds by taking a flier on a kid who, hopefully, has put his off-field issues in the rearview.