Former ASU standout DL Will Sutton went into his senior season looking to boost his NFL draft stock. After hearing the “too small for NFL” talk, Sutton thought bulking up to 320 pounds would help him take his game to the next level. The end result was a dip in production with 14 fewer tackles and just 4 sacks. Although he did still grab the PAC-12 defensive player of the year award, his name fell down on league draft boards.
“I felt [gaining weight] hurt me a little, but I was just getting information [from people] saying I was too small for the NFL and I was just listening and they said it was bad,” said Sutton, who was selected by the Bears with the 82nd pick in the draft. “I’ve been working to get the weight off and I’m back down to what I was my junior season and just ready to prove to everybody what type of football player I really am.”(1)
The Chicago Bears were thrilled to get DT Will Sutton in the 3rd round of the NFL draft to help plug a gaping hole in their defense. Former Oregon State DL Stephen Paea looked promising early in 2013 but a toe injury derailed his season. With injuries to starter DL Henry Melton and reserve DL Nate Collins, the Bears just couldn’t recover. They were (by far) the worst team in the league against the run giving up 161 yds per game and allowing 5.3 yds per carry.
The Bears lost franchise player DL Henry Melton to the Cowboys this offseason but added defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff and 2nd round pick Ego Ferguson. Ratliff and Paea have gotten most of the first team reps during training camp so they figure to be the starters. The No. 3 DL spot is turning into a battle between Sutton and veteran Collins since they both play the 3-technique position. Look for Will Sutton to break into the rotation early due to his ability to rush the passer and health issues for the rest of the line.
1. Mayer, L. (2014, May 9). Bigger not better for Will Sutton. . Retrieved August 1, 2014, from http://www.chicagobears.com/news/article-1/Bigger-not-better-for-Will-Sutton/17b92a89-1b42-409b-8a67-81b626e1da27