Sutton Smith, OLB, Northern Illinois #15

6000, 237, 4.71


Notes: Born in Plano, TX, he graduated high school in Saint Charles, MO. His father played football at Middle Tennessee State. His mother played volleyball at Missouri State. Redshirted in 2015. Backup defensive end, played in 12 games and made 15 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack in 2016. Started all 13 games and set school records for sacks (14) and tackles-for-loss (30) in a season; totaled 63 tackles, 3 PBU, 3 FF, 3 FR and scored twice on fumble returns in 2017.

Positives: Outstanding production. Good instincts for the game. Plays with emotion and intensity. Non-stop motor. Incredibly active and disruptive, frequently making plays in the backfield for loss and rushing the passer. Very quick and slippery to block. Has speed off the edge, can get low and dip his shoulder and offers a nifty array of moves and technique. Generates power. Closes fast. Aggressive in pursuit. Has maintained productivity against better competition. Should contribute right away on special teams.

Negatives: Average size at the point of attack and gets engulfed by bigger, longer offensive linemen at times. Limited experience dropping into coverage.

Summary: College defensive end who will transition to linebacker at the next level. Fits nicely as a rush outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Early Day 3 pick, possible Day 2 selection for some teams.

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