Lunch Break

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Lunchbreak: Will Sutton Could Provide Boost For Vikings D-Line

Posted Jul 18, 2017

The Vikings are hoping Will Sutton can rekindle the magic from his college days.

Minnesota signed the defensive tackle in May, and the former third-round pick has added depth to the Vikings defensive line.

Tim Yotter of Viking Update wrote that Minnesota’s defense will only get better if Sutton can match the productivity he had a few years ago in the college ranks.

Yotter wrote:

Sutton may not want to go back to school, but the Minnesota Vikings would like him to get back to the production – and the position – he had at Arizona State.

Sutton … is not only returning to the three-technique position that made him a third-round draft pick in 2014, but he’s once again working in an attacking-style defense.

Sutton has been through plenty of changes in his first three NFL seasons. The Chicago Bears switched head coaches, and therefore switched defensive schemes, from a 4-3 to a 3-4. But even the 4-3 he was originally drafted into didn’t suit his strengths as well as the Vikings’ system does now, he says.

“We weren’t really an attacking 4-3 like it is here,” Sutton said. “We were running a 4-3 but holding more blocks. We hold blocks here, but then there’s calls where you don’t even hold it, just go. We didn’t have those in Chicago.”

Sutton earned plenty of accolades at Arizona State, where he played from 2009-13. He was twice-named the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year and was also a two-time Associated Press All-American.

A two-time First Team All-Pac-12 selection, Sutton finished with 161 career tackles. His 45.5 tackles for loss rank eighth all-time at ASU and his 20.5 career sacks are seventh-most in school history.

Smith listed as Vikings best homegrown talent

Every NFL teams wants to draft a player, mold them into an impact performer, and then have them contribute to the organization for the entirety of his career.

It’s homegrown talent at its finest.

Marc Sessler of NFL.com recently took a look at the best homegrown talent on each team, players who were drafted by the organization and are now looked at as leaders on the team.

Sessler’s stipulations were that quarterbacks were excluded and players had to be with their team for at least five years.

Harrison Smith was Sessler’s pick for the Vikings.

Everson Griffen deserves consideration, but I'm going with Smith. Minnesota's reliable, hard-hitting safety has been a perfect fit for coach Mike Zimmer's scheme. An aggressive, reliable run stuffer, Smith has given the Vikings a steady backstop since the minute he arrived. He's pivotal to Minnesota's plans.

Smith was a first-round draft pick in 2012 and has made two straight Pro Bowls.

Smith was ranked 74th in the NFL’s Top 100 this offseason. He had 104 total tackles (according to coaches’ tally) and added four tackles for loss with 2.0 sacks and a fumble recovery in 2016. He played and started in 14 games.