Hogs Haven Draft Profiles: Stephon Tuitt, DL

Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Hogs Haven takes a look at NFL prospects heading into the 2014 NFL Draft.

Stephon Tuitt

Defensive Lineman

Height: 6'5.75", Weight: 312 lbs

Notre Dame

Strengths: Tuitt has shown a tremendous amount of upside and potential. He's an incredibly athletic, huge defensive lineman with an intriguing combination of length, power, and surprising quickness. Tuitt's frame/build is ideal. He has some of the longest arms in this draft and has shown the ability to move well for his size. He comes across as very well coordinated, too. Tuitt is a strong tackler in the run game and uses his size to disrupt passing lanes well.

Another strength of Tuitt's is his versatility. In my opinion, he is without a doubt the most versatile DL in this draft class. I believe he has the tool to play any position on any defensive line. While he is clearly best suited as pass rushing DE in a 3-4 defense, he'd be excellent as a 4-3 DT and can play NT in a pinch (as he did last year when Nix was hurt). Some even believe he could trim some weight and make a good 4-3 DE rushing the passer. He has the size of an interior lineman and the quicks to rush from the edge.

Weaknesses: One downside is Tuitt's fluctuating weight. During his time at ND, his weight has been as low as 300 lbs. and as high as 330 lbs. He showed up for last season out of shape following offseason sports hernia surgery. He had gained too much weight and his performance was hurt by it. Most would argue he was better two years ago than last year and I believe his weight gain and being out of shape to be the primary reason why.

He also lacks consistency and burst. He is sometimes caught standing up and doesn't always play with good leverage. All this calls into question his intensity. His style of play certainly wouldn't be described as "violent" or "relentless."

Bottom Line: Tuitt is a physically gifted, huge, long-armed man... a "Workout Warrior." He has great size and strength, but needs to work on his technique. The potential he's shown, combined with the athleticism and versatility makes for a very interesting prospect.

Player Comparison: Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, Alan Page, and/or Richard Seymour

Notable: 2012 - Second-team AP All-American

Projected Round: 1-2. Could go as high as the top 10 or as low as the mid-to-late second round. One of the harder prospects to peg.

Team(s) He Fits Best On: Tuitt's versatility combined with his being seemingly everywhere in various mocks (mid-first to mid-second round) means he'd probably fit on most teams. Here's 10 that I think he fits the best on/is most likely to end up on: Bears, Steelers, Cowboys, Packers, Eagles, Chiefs, Patriots, Broncos, Seahawks, or Redskins.

Stephon Tuitt 2012 Highlights - Notre Dame Football (via WatchND)

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