Bears select Arizona State DT Will Sutton

Arizona State's Will Sutton (90) gets past Sacramento State's John Wallace (51) during the first half in an NCAA college football game on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State defeated Sacramento State 55-0. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

LAKE FOREST — The Bears double-dipped at defensive tackle on Day Two of the NFL Draft, taking Arizona State’s Will Sutton with the 82nd overall pick in the third round.

Following the pick of LSU's defensive tackle Ego Ferguson, Sutton figured he would not be joining the Bears and was surprsied to get the call.

"I bet they think that us two could make a good tandem together, either he plays nose and I play three-tech or vice versa," Sutton said on a conference call Friday night. "Wherever they want us to play, I feel like us two can come in and really do some damage."

Unlike Ferguson, Sutton sees himself as more of a three-technique, something the Bears need after losing Henry Melton in free agency.

"I think that's where I can excel at. I'm not really the big physical type of D-lineman like people want to play that nose position. I am a physical guy, but my strength is at getting that one-on-one pass rush and penetrating on the run," he said.

Weight has been a common question for Sutton, and he said that he is currently at 290 pounds, and he could lose another 5-10 pounds if the Bears prefer. Emery said they want him in the 285-295-pound range, and the Bears' general manager was pleased to see Sutton has gotten back down after he adding weight prior to senior year.

"it said he’s dedicated toward improving himself that when he sets his mind toward something he can accomplish it," Emery said.

Sutton was 6-0, 303 pounds at the Combine with a 5.36 40-yard dash and the only 31¼” arms. Sutton did have a pre-draft visit with the Bears at Halas Hall.

In his career, Sutton was durable, starting 40 of 51 games at Arizona State. He was academically ineligible for the 2010 season. 

As a junior, Sutton was outstanding, winning the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award after posting 23.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks. At his new weight his senior season, Sutton was not as productive (13.5 tackles for loss and four sacks), but still was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.

“[The Bears] are getting a player who has a constant motor," Sutton said. "He’s going to come to work every day, he knows the game of football, he’s going to get in the film room and is just going to do what he is told to do.”

Sutton’s father Mickey spent five years as a cornerback in the NFL with the Rams, Bills and Packers. Will Sutton said he has cousins on his father's side from the Chicago area, so he grew up a Bears fan.

Arthur Arkush's take

Emery doubled down on defensive tackles Friday – and the Bears' third-round pick, No. 81 overall, is a name that should be more familiar than Ferguson's. Will Sutton, the former Arizona State tackle, was one of the nation’s most disruptive players as a junior before playing out of shape in his final season in Tempe, limiting his explosiveness.

Sutton’s motor and conditioning raise some questions, but few doubt his athleticism and knack for bringing down quarterbacks. Lost in Chicago’s historically bad run defense a season ago? The Bears also had the fewest sacks in the NFL. Sutton’s a proven pass rusher. If defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni and a veteran defense can help whip Sutton into shape, he could be a mainstay in the middle of the Bears’ defense for a long time.

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