Will Sutton has the hardware and college resume — two-time reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of Year — to warrant being taken during the first two days of the 2014 NFL Draft come May. But the former Arizona State defensive tackle also comes with his share of baggage, primarily as it relates to his drive and discipline to stay in football shape.
Sutton reportedly gained nearly 40 pounds between his junior and senior seasons, and his numbers suffered because of it. In 2013, the Corona, Calif. native saw a decrease in solo tackles, assisted tackles, tackles for loss, interceptions, pass deflections and fumbles forced.
While he weighed in at the combine at trimmed down 303 pounds, slow times in the 40-yard dash (5.36 seconds) and 3-cone drill (7.93 seconds) coupled with a decrease in production have many within the league believing his stock has dropped as low as the fourth round.
Yet, regardless of where he may be selected, CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco believes Sutton can be an impactful player in the NFL.
“I think he’s going to be a player in the NFL,” Prisco told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta Thursday. Again smallish guy and the weight fluctuation bothers a lot of people as its up, down, up, down. To me, you have to look at him on tape and say, ‘This kid is a good football player.’ I don’t know if he’s going to be a dominant football player but in a rotation he’s going to be a very good football player.”
While Prisco is relatively high on Sutton, the same cannot be said for his teammate, Carl Bradford.
Braford, who had 8.5 sacks and 19.0 tackles for a loss as a linebacker for ASU in 2013, entered the draft despite having another year of eligibility — a decision Prisco, a proud ASU alum, is having trouble getting behind.
“The one that concerns me a little bit is the Bradford kid,” said Prisco. “Watching his games at ASU, there were sometimes you looked and him and thought he’s a really good player. And then other times you looked and him and thought where is he? At the combine, I was looking at him and he just kind of has an odd-shaped body for a defensive end. He concerns me a little bit.”