Photo of Stephon Tuitt
Drafted By: Steelers
  • Round 2
  • Pick 14
  • Overall 46

Combine Results

Grade
6.14 ?
  • 31 REPS
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"Boy does this pick make a lot of sense for Pittsburgh. Remember Brett Keisel, who has played that position for the Steelers at a high level but will probably retire. Tuitt has first-round talent. He can play inside or outside. When healthy he's explosive. I've had an opportunity to watch this kid play at Notre Dame for the last three years. He can stack and shed to make a tackle. Occasionally he can get stuck on blocks if he's tired." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'5" Height
  • 34 3/4" Arm Length
  • 304LBS. Weight
  • 10" Hands

Overview

His name is pronounced "stuh-FON TOO-it." Highly recruited out of Georgia. As a true freshman in 2011, played nine games (three starts) and collected 30 tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks with one pass batted. All non-starts were coach's decisions. Moved into a starting defensive end role in '12, tallying 47-13-12 with one pass batted, three forced fumbles and one blocked kick in 13 starts. Returned a fumble 77 yards for a touchdown against Navy. Required offseason surgery to repair a hernia. In '13, he started all 13 games and had 49-9-7.5 with two passes batted, one interception and one forced fumble. Picked off an errant pass in the end zone for a touchdown against Michigan. Pulled out of NFL Scouting Combine drills after a medical scan revealed a Jones fracture in his left foot, necessitating surgery performed March 1 that restricted him from working out at his pro day.

Analysis

Strengths

Looks the part -- has prototypical dimensions for a five-technique. Long-armed to play off blocks. Holds his ground at the point of attack. Can stack and shed. Has excellent movement skill for a man his size. Plays on his feet. Coordinated and in control of his body. Knee bender able to flatten or redirect efficiently. Strong wrap tackler. Scheme and position versatile -- played end and tackle in even and odd fronts. Notched 20.5 sacks in 28 career starts. Disrupts passing lanes. Did 31 bench-press reps at the combine.

Weaknesses

Monotone edge rusher -- not a quick-twitch athlete (average get-off quickness). Can play with more consistent leverage. Hip and shoulder stiffness shows when he attempts to bend the corner. Can do a better job shooting his hands with authority to jolt blockers. Needs to become a better hands fighter and develop pass-rush moves. Can play with more violence. Average intensity and relentlessness.

Draft Projection

Round 1

Bottom Line

Hulking, long-armed, physically gifted defensive lineman with desirable size, strength, athleticism and versatility to appeal as a five-technique or as a defensive tackle or base end in a 4-3. Gained approximately 20 pounds as a junior and was not in peak condition, but has disruptive upside.
-Nolan Nawrocki
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.

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