Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton's draft stock seems to fluctuate as much as his weight, and that is not a good thing.
NFL Media senior draft analyst Gil Brandt said Sutton's pro day Friday was underwhelming and that "after further review, he's probably a third-day pick at best."
Sutton was one of the nation's most dominant defensive linemen in 2012, racking up 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. But his lack of size was seen as an issue -- he was listed at 6-foot-1 and 275 pounds at ASU in 2012 -- and Sutton bulked up for his senior season in 2013, gaining 30 pounds.
But he had a lackluster senior campaign, finishing with four sacks and 13 tackles for loss. He added weight between the end of the season and the Reese's Senior Bowl, then dropped weight for the NFL Scouting Combine, weighing in at 303 pounds after being at 315 for the Senior Bowl. He dropped even more weight for his pro day, weighing in there at 297 pounds. His height was measured at 6-0½ at the combine.
At his pro day, Sutton was timed in 5.31 seconds in the 40, 4.57 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle and 7.70 seconds in the three-cone drill. He was at 5.36, 4.82 and 7.93, respectively, at the combine.
Brandt said Sutton "showed a strong club in his workout, but other than that, he was pretty average." And, Brandt said, this from a player "who some projected as a first-round pick last summer."
Sutton's 2012 season -- when he was named the Pac-12's defensive player of the year -- certainly was an outlier. In his other three seasons with the Sun Devils, Sutton totaled 7.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss. He also missed the 2010 season because he was academically ineligible.
Sutton is a former high school teammate in Corona, Calif., of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who -- despite a solid career at Arizona State -- went undrafted but now is a stalwart for the Bengals.
Sutton's 2012 season certainly has to tease scouts -- that is big-time production from an interior lineman -- but on the other hand, the rest of his career and his lack of athleticism has to scare them away. It does seem likely that a team takes a late-round flier on him, hoping he can regain his 2012 form and emulate his former prep teammate.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.