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NFL Draft 2014 - Scouting Report - DE Stephon Tuitt - Notre Dame
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Photo – DE Stephon Tuitt - Notre Dame
Stephon Tuitt #7 - 6-5, 305 - Notre Dame - Sp. 4.9 - Rating 89
Hindu Theory: Richard Seymour
Big athletically talented junior defender declared for the NFL Draft after a slightly disappointing 2013 season. Stephon has the prototypical physical skills that NFL scouts seek in an outside defender for either the 3-4 or 4-3 sets. He has rare size and athleticism and is a high cut blue chip prospect who has upside potential to become an impact NFL starter. He has a huge frame and long arms (34 3/4”) to line up anywhere along the front to create mismatches. He added weight for the 2013 season and failed to duplicate his breakout 2012 performance. He is best in the 290 lb. range where his speed or agility allows him to win on speed and make plays down the line, in addition to power at the point. He is very athletic with top functional strength and rare movement skills for a player of his dimensions with the ability to match up vs top NFL tackles. He is an excellent fit for end in a 3-4 set and five technique or the strong side in a 4-3 scheme where he also projects inside. He has a strong hand punch that needs some further development to gain penetration early on the down. He has a good 1st step that allows him to gain an advantage on the snap, though he needs to improve his initial burst to get past the tackle more consistently. He relies on power more than quickness. His strength allows him to counter well to the inside when his initial move is contained. He has a strong lower unit to deliver great power to push the pocket or stack the POA. He delivers a powerful surge to strike an opponent and drop runners with surprising speed to make plays at the sidelines. He has improved his technique with experience, but needs to add more pass rushing moves. He has definite upside with physical talent including reach and huge frame. He is a relentless defender who combines quickness and power to beat blockers in several ways. His impact ability emerged early in his career when he produced big plays as a freshman on a weekly basis. He can strike an opponent with a jarring punch, but needs to use that technique more consistently. He shows fine power with the physical presence to hold the POA and win most individual battles. He relies mainly on his power and swim move to beat blockers and needs to improve moves like a hump, rip and club. He has the ability to anchor very well, though he must play with good pad level to maintain leverage. He is the ideal for the five-technique role in the 3-4 set where his athleticism and makeup project him as a three down defender. He uses his arms well to keep blockers off his body when attacking and separates fairly well if his initial charge is contained. He needs to use his great reach more effectively to deflect passes as he totaled just five over his career. He is an agile defender who will tackle in space and has the COD to redirect. He shows good awareness with incredible agility and balance to move down the LOS with the burst to finish. He needs to improve his overall conditioning and play under 300 lbs. where he retains his speed. He has a good short area burst to win early on the down and penetrate the backfield.
The Numbers: Over the 2013 season, he started 13 games and finished with 49 tackles, 10 TFL, 13 QB hurries and 7.5 sacks. As a sophomore, he started 13 games and registered 47 tackles with 15 TFL, 3 FF, 1 FR, 9 QB hurries and 12 sacks. At the NFL Combine, he came in at 6’5” and 305 lbs. and did 31 reps, but did not workout. At the Irish pro day, he did not run and did a 34.5” VL and a 10’1” BJ. He had decent agility drills with a 4.51 shuttle and a 7.07 three-cone. He is a talented defender with very good agility and functional strength. He is an intriguing prospect with the skills similar to Richard Seymour in AA, body type and Pro Bowl potential. Improving prospect for either pro set that must refine key areas to play up to his potential. Falling top 40 prospect with freakish upside and rare scheme diversity. Starting talent to turn into great value and impact defender.
Draft Projection: 2nd Round
Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.