Will Sutton emerged as a dominant force for the Arizona State Sun Devils last season, tallying 13 sacks while anchoring a stout ASU defense.
He was named the Pac-12's Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year, and was a consensus All-American. It was thought he could have turned pro and been an NFL Draft pick, but he decided in January to return to school for his senior season.
While his team is 2-0 and ranked 23rd, Sutton has been a bit of a disappointment, with just three total tackles and zero sacks. What's the problem? According to NFL.com's Bucky Brooks, an NFL scout says the defensive tackle is too heavy.
Arizona State DT Will Sutton is viewed as an enigma in NFL circles. The 6-foot-1, 307-pound interior defender entered the season regarded as one of the best pass rushers in the country after posting 12 sacks a season ago, but scouts I've talked to are wondering if Sutton has lost his edge after gaining nearly 20 pounds in the offseason.
Talking to several evaluators at the Arizona State-Wisconsin game this weekend, I had a few guys tell me that Sutton looks sluggish and lacks the explosiveness that was a hallmark of his game in 2012. An AFC North personnel executive told me that Sutton has added "bad weight" and that his weight gain has taken away from his biggest assets -- speed and quickness. An NFC West scout suggested to me that Sutton needs to get in better shape and get his motor running to become the difference-maker some envision as a situational interior rusher in the NFL.
Sutton still has plenty of time to turn his season around, as it's only been two games. That said, getting back to being the explosive force he was last year would aid his NFL hopes as well as the Sun Devils.