He anchored a Sun Devil defense that was third in the Conference in total defense (351.0 yards per game), was tied for second in sacks (36 total sacks) and led the Conference in forced turnovers (30). Sutton lead an aggressive defense that has forced one turnover in 26-consecutive games, which is good for third in the country among FBS schools for longest-active streak. On the year, Sutton recorded 10.5 tackles for loss for 38 yards, three sacks and an interception that sealed a win over UCLA to clinch the Pac-12 South Division title and earn the Sun Devil's first Pac-12 Football Championship game berth. - Pac-12 football
While his numbers weren't staggering, Sutton was viewed as a player the team could build around... until it was announced just days before the opener that he'd miss the entire 2011 season due to academics.
Sutton was a standout on the scout team, but that success didn't translate into eye-popping statistics upon his return to the starting lineup in 2011. Sutton registered 33 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, but it was hardly the dominant campaign some had projected.
Still, his quickness seemed like an ideal fit in new head coach Todd Graham and his co-defensive coordinators' (Paul Randolph and Ron West) scheme. Few, however, could have predicted Sutton's breakout 2012 campaign in which he led the Pac-12 with 1.82 tackles for loss per game (20 in 11 games) and 10.5 sacks on the season.
Appearing much stouter on film than the 6-1, 267 pounds he has been officially listed as by Arizona State over the past two years, Sutton could find surprising interest from NFL teams. With the proliferation of spread offenses in the NFL making it imperative that defenses put immediate pressure on the quarterback, "undersized" interior pass rush specialists like Sutton could have a niche, especially as teams begin to rotate their defensive linemen with increasing frequency.
Weaknesses: Obvious size limitations and may prove to be just a rotational defender at the next level. Short arms and can get locked out by the longer arms of offensive linemen. Possesses very good short-area quickness but reaches max speed quickly and appears to have only moderate straight-line speed for the position despite his size. Seems to tire easily. Will make a big play and then disappear for long stretches. Only has one season of sustained success at the FBS level.
Compares To: Geno Atkins, DT, Cincinnati Bengals -- Having increased his sack production each of his three seasons in the NFL, the 6-1, 300-pound Atkins has given hope to all undersized, quick-footed defensive tackles that they, too, can find a niche in today's pass-happy NFL.