After a 2012 campaign that saw him win the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year award, defensive tackle Will Sutton spurned the riches of the NFL to come back and play his final season at Arizona State
Sutton added roughly 30 pounds to his frame for the 2013 season to try and become stouter in the trenches but saw a drop in his production.
No doubt, Sutton has a place in the NFL but the question is where?
College Career: Sutton played in 12 games as a freshman in 2009 tallying 17 tackles with three tackles for loss and one sack. After sitting out 2010, Sutton had another solid season as a redshirt sophomore in 2011, notching 33 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. But it was merely a taste of what was to come. In 2012 as a redshirt junior Sutton exploded into the national spotlight, becoming a constant presence in opposing backfields setting career highs in sacks (13), tackles for loss (23.5) tackles (63). Finally, as s redshirt senior in 2013, he gained weight and saw his production slide totaling 48 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and four sacks but still won the 2013 Pat Tillman Defensive Payer of the Year Award as the best defensive player in the Pac-12.
Strengths: When you look at his 2012 film, you see what Sutton could be: a quick, explosive backfield terror. When his weight is a little lower Sutton is quick off the ball and can blow past offensive linemen is a flash. He slides well and fills gaps effectively in the run game. He's good with his hands and uses them effectively to defeat offensive linemen's blocks. He also shows a good rip move and a quick swim move against the run.
Weaknesses: The elephant in the room is Sutton's added weight. It seemed to slow down his first step and he wasn't able to beat offensive linemen with his quickness like he could in 2012. Occasionally he let offensive linemen get into him too much. Sutton gets moved a little too easily by double teams and at 6-foot-1 Sutton is on the short side for a defensive tackle.
Outlook: The decline in production from 2012 to 2013 is a concern but Sutton's upside is obvious. Sutton best fits in a 4-3 scheme as a three-technique defensive tackle and could make a name for himself as an interior pass rusher with an ability to play the run well. If he gets his weight down to the 290-295 pound range, Sutton could develop into a solid three-technique defensive tackle.
Round Projection: 3rd or 4th
Prediction: 4th round (117 overall) to the Chicago Bears