By: Steve Johnson
Sutton Smith, Edge, Northern Illinois
*Combine measurements and drills will be added in Feb.
2016: 10 games. 15 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack
2017: 13 Games. 63 tackles, 30 TFL, 14 sacks, 3 pass break ups, 3 FF, 3 FR (2 for TD)
2018: 14 games. 61 tackles, 26.5 TFL, 15 sacks, 1 pass break up, 4 FF, 3 FR (1 TD)
Misc. Stats: 2 PR for 51 yards, 1 TD in 2018
Accolades: 2017 MAC Defensive Player of the Year, 2017 All-American, 2018 MAC Defensive Player of the Year
History: 3-star recruit from Saint Charles, MO. Played both sides (RB on offense) at Francis Howell. Had 2,456 all-purpose yards as a Senior in 2014) Has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, will forego his Senior season.
Strengths: Very quick first step. Short area quickness is impressive. Has the ability to get skinny. Slippery. Plays low. Can bend under slower tackles. Uses nice head fakes and jab steps. Active hand usage. Motor runs hot. Productive career.
Weaknesses: Undersized. Length will be a serious issue. Does not have the size or strength to stack the edge. Punch doesn’t knock anyone back. Cannot convert speed to power. Although low pad level, doesn’t have the strength to hold up. Worked almost exclusively out of a 2-point stance. Isn’t scheme diverse.
Overview: Sutton is going to be held back by his lack of size and length. He rarely plays with his hand in the dirt, and shies away from contact, choosing to dance around blockers rather than take them on. With that being said, he does have good feet and loose hips which could set him up with a future as a possible linebacker conversion. At worst, he provides good special teams upside.
Draft Projection: Mid Day 3
Phanaddict Draft Grade: TBD
How we grade