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Red Birds NFL Draft Preview: Stephon Tuitt, Defensive End

April 25th, 2014 at 5:05 AM
By Steve Smith

'Cardinals coming at me' photo (c) 2013, Jeffrey Beall - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
The NFL Draft is almost upon us. It's one of the best set of days of the year.

The Arizona Cardinals draft 20th overall in the upcoming NFL Draft. We're continuing our look at certain players the Red Birds may draft when they are officially "on the clock" in the first round.

Today's prospect is defensive end Stephon Tuitt. The University of Notre Dame product is 6-foot-5 and weighs 304 pounds.

Let's take an updated look at his scouting report via nfl.com:

Strengths Looks the part of a defensive end – has prototypical dimensions for a five-technique. Long-armed to play off blocks. Holds his ground at the point of attack. Can stack and shed. Has excellent movement skill for a man his size. Plays on his feet. Coordinated and in control of his body. Knee bender able to flatten or redirect efficiently. Strong wrap tackler. Scheme and position versatile — played end and tackle in even and odd fronts. Notched 20.5 sacks in 28 career starts. Disrupts passing lanes.

Weaknesses Monotone edge rusher — not a quick-twitch athlete (average get-off quickness). Can play with more consistent leverage. Hip and shoulder stiffness shows when he attempts to bend the corner. Can do a better job shooting his hands with authority to jolt blockers. Needs to become a better hands fighter and develop pass-rush moves. Can play with more violence. Average intensity and relentlessness. 

Bottom Line Hulking, long-armed, physically gifted defensive lineman with desirable size, strength, athleticism and versatility to appeal as a five-technique or as a defensive tackle or base end in a 4-3. Was not in peak condition for his junior season, but has disruptive upside.

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Tags: Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Football, NFL, Stephon Tuitt

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