We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.
Next up in the Countdown to Kickoff series is rookie defensive tackle Will Sutton. Sutton wore #90 during his college career at Arizona State, but has switched to #93 — a number formerly worn by Nate Collins — since joining the Bears. He’s one of many new faces on the Bears’ defensive line that can hopefully help improve a porous run defense and non-existent pass rush. He will likely platoon with fellow rookie Ego Ferguson during his rookie campaign.
Sutton enjoyed a successful career at Arizona State, despite seeing his production dip during his senior year. His best season came as a junior when Sutton racked up 23.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks, which earned him the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors.
The 6-1, 303-pound (and now reportedly down to 290) Sutton will need to keep his weight in check with the Bears in order to put himself in the best position possible for success. He’ll have the benefit of working with seasoned veterans at the defensive tackle position, such as Jeremiah Ratliff, Nate Collins and Israel Idonije — all of whom can help him develop quickly into an effective player.
If Sutton can somehow regain the form he found in 2012, the Bears could find themselves featuring one of the biggest steals of the 2014 draft on their defensive line. That’s a big “if” though and in the meantime Sutton will simply need to find his role on a very crowded defensive front.
Here’s a small glimpse of Sutton in action:
If Sutton turns out to be a bust, at least we’ll have some good options for renaming this day next season — there’s Adewale Ogunleye, Trace Armstrong and Phillip Daniels to name a few.
Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on September 7th.