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Cowboys Draft 2014: Scouting Will Sutton

Because there has been such a high correlation in recent years between the top collegians invited to Valley Ranch for pre-draft visits and who the Cowboys end up drafting, it's important to know as much as possible about these players. As a service to you BTB is providing a series of detailed scouting reports on each of these targets. Today the series continues with our look at Arizona State Defensive Tackle, Will Sutton.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Name: Will Sutton

Position: Defensive Tackle

School: Arizona State

Height: 6’0"

Weight: 303 LBs

Games Studied: Wisconsin, UCLA (2013) Cal, USC (2012)

Measurables vs others at his position:

Note: This spider graph provides a visual representation of a players’ measurable traits, and combine results.  The filled in area of the chart, as well as the number in the light grey circle represents the percentile among the player's peers by position. A score of 85 here represents that out of every 100 players at his position, the player has a better result in that test than 85 of those 100.

Pass Game:

Will Sutton played the 3 technique in Arizona States 4-man fronts and was an effective player at that position. I specifically studied games from two separate years because with this player, the 2012 tape is drastically different, and better than the 2013 tape. At some point following his stellar 2012 junior season, someone (my guess is the ASU coaching staff), advised Sutton that he would be viewed as undersized by the NFL at the 280 lb range he played at in 2012 and that he should gain 40 or so pounds for 2013. As a result the player you see in 2013, is a completely different player than the guy from 2012.

The extra weight cost Sutton a load of explosiveness; his quick twitch and reactions were taken from him by the extra poundage and although he was still an effective player, he was not as disruptive as he was in 2012. What it did however, was force Sutton to improve how he plays with his hands.

With all that said, and with the downward trend of his weight back down to under 300 lbs within the last month, I’m going to assume that whoever drafts Will Sutton will get a player much more similar to the guy from 2012.

Sutton shows the ability to be an extremely explosive player when his weight is down. In the Arizona State scheme he was asked to scoop inside OGs into the A gap often, as well as getting outside on a Tackle-End stunt, and he was able to execute these with great effectiveness. One of his best moves, even in 2013 was an inside swim move, where he would cross the OG’s face and beat him into the A gap, and able to swim past the blocker for early pressure.

However, as a three technique he shows the ability to beat OG’s on both their outside and inside shoulders as well as with power right down the middle. He is an extremely disruptive player, consistently putting pressure inside, and being very effective in obvious passing situations.

Run Game:

As is the case with any defensive line player who makes his living on by penetrating, there are times when you see plays run by him, but overall he is just fine against the run. His relatively short stature gives him the ability to play with good leverage and he doesn’t get pushed around at the point of attack. He will chase plays, and is good in pursuit, although the extra weight cost him in terms of balance and speed in 2013.

Conclusion/Cowboys Projection:

Because of the weight gain in 2013, added on to less than ideal height will likely push his stock lower than his 2012 production would suggest.  However, I believe that a team that drafts him in the late 2nd or 3rd round will be getting a huge steal that will be productive in the base and nickel packages in his rookie year. He fits the RKG profile as a high-intelligence team leader and could flourish in the Cowboys defense as a 3 technique who rotates with Henry Melton, and teams with him in the pass rush situations, with the possibility of replacing Melton if the team opts to no retain him past 2014.

Pro Comparison: Corey Liuget DT, San Diego Chargers ( 2011 1st Rd Pick, 18th overall.)

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