As the old saying goes, “you are what you eat.”
For former Arizona State star defensive lineman Will Sutton that isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Although Sutton followed up a breakout 2012 season with his second consecutive Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award last fall, he added far more pounds than sacks to his NFL resume in the past year.
“I’d like to know what got in his head that he decided that he had to be 300-plus pounds,” NFL Network draft analyst Charles Davis explained to Brad Cesmat in a recent phone interview. “Will Sutton at 280, 285 wasn’t blocked, was he? Last year he still was good but he wasn’t making game-changing plays.”
Sutton dropped weight for February’s NFL Combine, tipping the scales at 303 and even weighed in at 297 for ASU’s Pro Day but, performance-wise, was average at best in drills at both workouts. He ran the 40-yard-dash slightly faster in Tempe (5.31) than in Indianapolis (5.36) but left most scouts and NFL personnel wondering if 2012 was simply a tease.
“I didn’t see the same bounce, vitality, life and it continues to push him down the draft board…his off-season hasn’t been that terrific, either,” Davis said. “We haven’t seen that move, that change, that charge up the board. Frankly, that’s troubled me a bit.”
Despite his big-time production two years ago some clubs are believed to be scared off by his lack of athleticism and height, barely officially listed above six-foot at the Combine. Take away his junior year (12 sacks, 23.5 tackles for loss) Sutton had less sacks (7.5) and tfl’s (22) in the other three seasons combined.
All of the above, according to Davis, could lead to a big slide in next month’s draft.
“Now he’s in that pack with ‘other guys’ and Will Sutton I thought was a much better player than being in the pack with other guys.”