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Hogs Haven Draft Profiles: Will Sutton, DL

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


Will Sutton

Defensive Lineman

Height: 6'0.75", Weight: 301 lbs

Arizona State

Strengths: Sutton is known for splitting gaps and penetrating the backfield. He has an uncanny ability to get through gaps using incredible quickness. With the proliferation of spread offenses in the NFL today, slightly undersized interior pass-rush specialists are uniquely suited/able to put immediate pressure on the QB. Sutton is short and compact, giving him a natural leverage advantage on just about everybody. He times the snap well and has explosive burst. He's also got a bit of athleticism as evidenced by his quick feet, good balance, and lateral agility. There's also a surprising amount of strength in that compact frame. He has strong, active hands (forced three fumbles in 2012). Another strength is Sutton's ability to diagnose plays pre-snap. It's not uncommon to see him blowing up screens and draw plays before they ever materialize.

Sutton regularly collapses the pocket by pushing his opponents into the backfield. He has a wide base that is good for anchoring against heavier, stronger OLs. Versatility would be yet another strength as he's played every single DL position you can imagine (3-4 DE, 3-4 NT, 4-3 DT, and 4-3 DE). He's lack of height really helps him with leverage and anchoring.

Weaknesses: He's a bit undersized. One obvious size limitation beyond his height/weight is his arm length. Sutton had the shortest arms of any DL at the Senior Bowl and without looking it up, I'm sure he has close to the shortest, if not the shortest arms for a DL in the draft.

He also tires easily. You'll see Sutton make a huge play, but then he tends to disappear for stretches. On a related note, his weight seems to fluctuate quite a bit, too. In college, Sutton played from 260 lbs to 300 lbs, and everything in between. At the Senior Bowl he came in around 315 lbs (which was pretty clearly not his best playing weight) and he's claimed to have been up to 320. He's not great against double teams and most agree his ideal playing weight is around 290 lbs (though if he were to be drafted by the 'Skins he'd probably be asked to be around 300+). There are also questions about his motor/work ethic.

Bottom Line: Sutton is most likely a situational pass rusher to start out. He appears heavier and stronger than his listed size and that would be a benefit, especially to a team operating out of a 3-4 scheme. Active hands, and excellent leverage make him an intriguing prospect.

Notable: Sutton has great bloodlines as his father played in the NFL, so he's been around the league a little bit. Also, he played HS and college football with Vontaze Burfict.

2013 - First-team All-American, First-team All-Pac-12, and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. 2012 - Consensus All-American, First-team All-Pac-12, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and Morris Trophy.

Player Comparison: Geno Atkins (undersized and quick), Linval Joseph, and/or Kyle Love

Projected Round: 2-3

Team(s) He Fits Best On: Jaguars, Vikings, Giants, Cowboys, or Patriots

Will Sutton Highlights (via TheVikings1028)