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Raiders UDFA profile: DT Leon Orr is a large man with large questions

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When you look at Leon Orr, you see a very imposing figure. At 6-5, 323 pounds he immediately becomes the largest defensive lineman on the team. Coming from a major program like Florida and having that kind of size is usually enough for a team to at least take a flyer on you as a late round pick. And yet Orr went undrafted.

Orr was not a regular starter for the Gators. He started just 10 games in 37 appearances in his career. After starting 2 games early in his senior season, he was relegated to backup.

Being even a rotational defensive tackle for a major program like the one at Florida is usually enough to get a player drafted. After all, the Raiders drafted an offensive tackle who started a total of 10 games at FCS Tennessee State. Surely Orr was worth a shot.

Where Orr did himself a disservice was opting to leave the team because he was not a starter. The Gators were on a road game in Nashville to face Vanderbilt. Orr had not started the past six games and upon being told he would come off the bench yet again, he left the team and took a bus back to Gainesville.

"He was more concerned with starting than being part of the team,'' Gators head coach Will Muschamp said.

This looked very bad for the fifth year senior defensive tackle, who took to Twitter to defend his actions along with apologize for them in a series of tweets.

More than anything I love my university and my brothers and if you really know me and see me play you can tell ... I made the mistake of putting my families future ahead of my team and for that I am truly sorry it'll haunt me forever ... But as my mothers only son I gotta find a way to provide for my three sisters , my daughter and neice !

Orr further expanded on his reasons for leaving the team in an interview for the Gainesville Sun.

"When I play football, it's personal for me," said Orr. "I'm in a predicament where if I don't get on that field and perform, I can't provide for my family. I want to be able to pay for my grandmother's hospital bills so she's not $100,000 in debt. I want to take care of my single mother. I want to put my daughter and my sisters and nieces in college."

While Orr's concerns are legitimate, his actions only stood to work against his goals. His apology was not enough for his head coach and he was not allowed to return to the team, missing their final five games. Among those final games included narrow losses to South Carolina (23-20 in OT) and Florida State (24-19). Those losses dropped them to 7-5 on the season and relegated them to the Birmingham Bowl; a game they won 28-20 over East Carolina.

There are a lot of questions about Orr that will need to be answered.

He came to Florida as one of the top recruits in the nation. Early in his college career he was sidelined by injuries, including a broken leg that cost him his freshman season, a bout with the flu that cost him four games his sophomore season, and a broken wrist which had him out for the spring prior to his senior season.

Most of his starts (8) came his junior season as an injury replacement. He naturally had career highs in tackles (21), tackles for loss (4.5), and sacks (2.5).

As Mario Edwards said after he was drafted by the Raiders out of Florida State, they like their defensive linemen big down in those parts. At 6-5, 323 pounds, Orr is a bit tall for a nose tackle and a bit heavier than your standard defensive tackle. He could be asked to bring his weight down to play 3-tech DT. Then again, Jack Del Rio tends to prefer his defensive tackles very large.

Del Rio had 6-7, 328-pound "Big" John Henderson on his defensive line in Jacksonville for many years. He also had 6-6, 312-pound Marcus Stroud alongside him. That's two extremely large men who served the Jaguars defense very well for a very long time.

They were also first round picks. Orr is an undrafted free agent with a steep hill to climb to show he belongs on an NFL roster.

He couldn't hold onto a starting job at Florida and wasn't content as a rotational player for fear it would damage his chances of being drafted into the NFL. He wasn't drafted for reasons mostly of his own making, but he is still being given a shot to earn a living as a pro. If it means as much to him as he says, he will do everything in his power to make this roster. After that, it's out of his hands.