Sutton Smith – EDGE, Northern Illinois
Standing in at 6-feet and 233-pounds with 30-3/4-inch arms, Sutton Smith is going to scare a lot of sizeists away. But, his production, technique, and effort should let him continue to receive talk as a day-three pick.
With 32.0 stats in the past two seasons along with 103 hurries, 26 quarterback hits, and 99 run-stops in that same span, per Pro Football Focus, it’s hard to argue against his stats. Smith’s means of production come from his explosive first-step, tenacity, flexibility, and developed technique, making him a speed-rusher through and through.
The Northern Illinois product is one of PFF’s highest-rated edge rushers with a 91.4 grade, 8.6 pass-rush productivity rating (25th in the class), 8.3% run-stop rate (26th), but he may not play the position at the next level. Most of his combine results were average for a speed-rusher (4.69 second 40-yard-dash), but he did have an exceptional three-cone-drill (6.75 seconds).
Given his lack of size, speed, or exceptional athleticism combined with his explosiveness, most have called for a move to off-ball linebacker, specifically as a WILL. He may need to take time to find a position, but he will surely stick onto teams as a special teams warrior.
Round projection: 6th-7th round, if the Arizona Cardinals see him available in the seventh, don’t be surprised if they snatch up a nice project that can give immediate production on special teams.