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ASU in the Pros Series: Minnesota Vikings DT Will Sutton

Recently signed Viking Will Sutton looks to finally make his mark at the next level.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Chicago Bears Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Although it may not be apparent following the past two seasons of Sun Devil football, in recent history, Arizona State has been known as an overly bearing defensively-minded team. Head coach Todd Graham’s saw the Sun Devils win at least eight games (including two 10-win campaigns) in his first three seasons.

A large part of the team’s success in the early days of Todd Graham’s reign came from a solid defensive core which was primarily headed by current pros such as defensive lineman Will Sutton.

Wisconsin v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Sutton racked up 20.5 sacks over four seasons at Arizona State including 13 sacks during his junior year in 2012. Sutton set a career-high for sacks in a single game that year with three sacks in a 27-17 road win against Cal.

ASU Stats/Awards

2009: 9 GP, 16 TOT tackles, 1.0 sack

2011: 12 GP, 33 TOT tackles, 2.5 sacks

2012: 12 GP, 64 TOT tackles, 13 sacks

2013: 14 GP, 48 TOT tackles, 4 sacks, 1 INT

Consensus All-American (2012), First Team All-American (2013), 2x Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2013), 2x First-team All-Pac 12 (2012, 2013)

Following his senior year, Sutton was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the third round as the 82nd overall pick and was signed to a four-year deal following the draft.

Sutton played in 36 games, starting in half of them, over three seasons with the Bears recording 39 tackles and defending seven passes in total while failing to earn a sack.

Sutton struggled to find playing time in Chicago after a front office overhaul that brought in a new general manager, head coach and defensive coordinator. Following the coaching changes, the Bears switched defensive schemes from a four-man front to a three-man front which was less-suited for a player with Sutton’s skill set.

On May 11, 2017, the Bears waived Sutton, wide receiver Eddie Royal and others prior to rookie training camp. Just six days later the Sutton was signed by the Minnesota Vikings and added to their 90-man roster heading into training camp.

Sutton will have his work cut out for him this offseason as he will be fighting for a job in a very talented Minnesota defensive core. If he can earn a spot on the Vikings, he will have two chances to show the Bears what they’re missing as the Minnesota will play Chicago twice, once at Soldier field on Oct. 9 and then again at home on New Year’s Eve to end the regular season.