Oct 19, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive end Stephon Tuitt (7) celebrates after sacking USC Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler (6) in the third quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 14-10. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Profile: Stephon Tuitt, DT Notre Dame


Notre Dame defensive tackle Stephon Tuitt is a big boy.  And when he’s on the field, he makes big boy plays.  He might just be one of those players that a team grabs in the middle of the first round just based on his physical talent, skill set, and high ceiling alone.

Tuitt stands 6’6″ tall and weighed in at 304 pounds at the combine.  To make that even scarier, he plays like a man that is even physically bigger than that.  He can command double teams like a nose tackle, yet rush passers like a defensive end.  A team with a need for a defensive lineman in a 3-4 defense would love a player like Tuitt.  He could also be a player that 4-3 defenses could move all over the line in pass rushing situations.

Despite being limited at the combine because of recovery from a fractured foot, Tuitt participated in the weight lifting portion of the events.  He managed to put up an impressive 31 reps of 225 pounds.  His strength should never be a question, but his conditioning should be.  He entered the 2013 campaign with extra weight and struggled at the beginning of the season.

Here are his statistics over 3 seasons at Notre Dame:

  • Sep 7, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner (12) gets away from Notre Dame Fighting Irish defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt (7) during the second quarter at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

    33 games played

  • 59 solo tackles
  • 126 total tackles
  • 25 tackles for a loss
  • 21.5 sacks
  • 4 forced fumbles
  • 1 fumble recovery
  • 4 passes defended
  • 1 interception
  • 2 defensive touchdowns

Strengths

  • Physical freak of nature
  • Can play in almost any scheme
  • Agile and quick
  • Can penetrate offensive lines with relative ease

Weaknesses

  • Conditioning
  • Consistency

Fit For The Vikings

While it’s hard to pass up on a huge talent like Tuitt, the Vikings have already spent a first round draft pick and a lot of money in free agency on shoring up their defensive tackle position.

My Take

It would be hard to justify taking Tuitt in the first or even at the #40 overall spot.  With glaring needs and lots of talent in this year’s draft, you’d expect the Minnesota to look to other positions for their early selections.

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