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Sutton Smith | Defensive End

Team: Northern Illinois Huskies
Age / DOB:  (22) / 3/22/1996
Ht / Wt:  6'1" / 237

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Northern Illinois junior edge rusher Sutton Smith recorded five quarterback pressures on just 27 pass rush snaps in Saturday's 24-21 win over Ohio.
An 18.5 percent pressure rate is a great outing for Smith who also recorded four defensive stops. He only has five sacks this year so far, a little below pace for the 14 he recorded last season. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg named Smith one of the best pass-rushers to watch this season and has been right thus far. He will look to continue dominating next week against BYU. Oct 14 - 11:03 AM

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ESPN's Adam Rittenberg believes that Northern Illinois junior edge rusher Sutton Smith is the best pass-rusher to watch in 2018.

ESPN's Tom VanHaaren considered Smith, but couldn't pull the trigger. Rittenberg takes the plunge, and he just might be right. The 6-foot, 225-pound defender registered 14 sacks last year, and according to Pro Football Focus he registered 62 hurries with a whopping 92 pressures. His size and the competition level raise questions, but you can't argue the production. Expect Smith to be among the sack leaders again in 2018.
Source: ESPN
Jul 9 - 5:41 PM

Northern Illinois redshirt junior edge rusher Sutton Smith led the FBS with 92 total QB pressures last season.

That's an impressive enough stat for the 6-foot, 225-pound Smith, but we've got an even more eye-opening one for you, here. Per Pro Football Focus, Ohio State's Nick Bosa posted 66 total QB pressures last season, a mark which was barely higher than just the number of hurries (62) that Smith racked up a year ago. Smith logged a mouthwatering 14 sacks last season, with a hearty 30 tackles going for loss. He's going to be a prospect to watch for draft purposes during the coming campaign.
Jun 19 - 12:59 PM

Pro Football Focus lists Northern Illinois redshirt junior edge-rusher Sutton Smith among the early players to watch for in the 2019 NFL Draft class.

Smith (6'0/225) is going to be one of the more divisive prospects to begin the year, and you should expect that to continue throughout the draft process. On one hand, he's one of the most productive players in the country -- Pro Football Focus's grade of 95.4 is the highest they've given to one in four years -- with 14 sacks and 30 tackles for loss. On the other, that size has no chance of succeeding at the highest level as a pass rusher. "He may have to become a traditional linebacker at the next level," they write, "but his feel for beating blocks and getting to the quarterback could become a next-level weapon in the proper role." We're excited to see what Smith can do for an encore to 2017, anyway.
May 5 - 3:24 PM

Northern Illinois redshirt sophomore edge-rusher Sutton Smith finished 2017 as Pro Football Focus's top rated pass-rusher.

Smith (6'0/220) not only finished as the highest rated edge-rusher (93.9 grade per PFF), he also finished as one of the highest rated players on defense overall. He was an absolute monster for the Huskies in 2017, finishing with 14 sacks, 30 tackles for loss, 3 fumbles forced and two defensive touchdowns. That's good. While he doesn't have elite size, it's tough to argue against that production, and he'll be one of the defenders to keep an eye on in 2019 for certain -- assuming he doesn't enter the 2018 Draft.
Jan 12 - 9:39 PM