TSV Scouting Department

Will Sutton

Report Prepared By John Harris

Will Sutton Photo: US Presswire


Class: Senior
Height: 6'0 1/2"
Weight: 315 lbs.
School: Arizona State
  • Most decorated defensive lineman in Arizona State history
  • First-team All-American (2013)
  • Consensus All-American (2012)
  • First-team All-Pac 12 (2012, 2013)
  • Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2013)
  • 2013 stats:  48 tackles, 4 sacks, 13.5 TFL and 1 INT

Senior Bowl Notes

  • Sutton accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 Senior Bowl in Mobile
  • Sutton continued to carry too much weight - even after the season was over - but he showed flashes of the quickness that made him such a threat in 2012.
  • We saw Sutton's leverage give Nevada OT/OG Joel Bitonio a tough time while Vanderbilt OL Wesley Johnson had trouble dealing with Sutton's explosive first movement in one-on-one drills.
  • There are times that Sutton looks really accomplished with his hands and there are other times his hands and feet don't appear to be working in tandem which is when he starts to lose battles.
  • Much like his 2013 season, Sutton was up and down against a variety of competition quality in one on one matchups.


  • Impressive agility and feet
  • Solid hand placement and quick, violent hands
  • Burst and ability to close on QB or ball carrier
  • Inside move is quick and nearly unblockable
  • Powerful base and leverage when not gassed or exhausted
  • Quick swim move


  • OL can control him at his lighter weight
  • Lack of awareness when at DE
  • Doesn't do much at all on his pass rush if initial move gets shut down
  • Extremely aggressive in pursuit, tends to over run if he's contain player
  • Won't be disciplined enough to play the defense, instead runs/plays to space

Film Room

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

1:27 Sack, shows ability to re-direct and the agility to finish the sack on mobile QB
2:26 RT gets lift once he locks on Sutton, moves him off the ball
4:35 Rip under inside move, gets clear and chases QB.
5:06 Violent hands to shed block and make tackle for short gain
5:14 DTs don't move this quickly - gets two-way go and G barely touches him
7:11 Slants inside, turns shoulders quickly to "get skinny", squares back up to ball carrier - just doesn't make tackle

TSV videos provided by Draft Breakdown

0:45 Reads and redirects on screen to make TFL
1:39 Brilliant hand placement and usage - strikes, rips through - T has no chance
2:02 Quick swim move to get loose for sack
3:00 Lack of size becomes issue, tackle wrestles out of hole one-on-one
4:50 Poor technique, peeks inside to space, guard reaches him
5:36 Same play as 4:50 mark, this time he drives guard straight into backfield for TFL
7:55 (replay) Goes rogue, jumps inside G, doesn't play technique on the defense


When I watched Sutton on tape in 2012, it was hard to imagine him with nearly 35 to 40 more pounds on his 6'1" frame.  He played with an extremely powerful base at around 267 but added 25-30 pounds in the off-season.  That weight did not do him justice.  He seemed sluggish off the ball and his explosiveness was minimized.  In all honesty, I liked him a whole lot more at nearly 270 than with him at 300+ pounds.
In 2012, Sutton consistently produced tackles for a loss and sacks from any position on the line, although he was best served playing the three technique in either even or odd fronts (reduced backside).  When at defensive end in a five technique, he's nowhere near as effective as he is playing over the nose or as a three technique.  When lined up inside, his first step off the ball is so quick that guards have trouble getting hands on him if he gets off on the snap, regardless of his weight.
Sutton is never going to be a big two gap tackle so he needs to find a consistent weight and play at that weight.  However, there was a distinct difference in his performance from 2012 to 2013 and that has me majorly concerned.