Did Lovie Find Another “Prototype?”

May 30th, 2014
Blade-in-the-back rookie Chaz Sutton

Blade-in-the-back rookie Chaz Sutton

It’s getting extra sweaty and claustrophobic for Da’Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn these days.

With height, length, speed and explosion, defensive end Steven Means earned the “prototype” label from Lovie Smith. Now there’s another young guy in the mix with nearly the exact same measurables as Means.

Undrafted free agent DE signing Chaz Sutton, out of the University of South Carolina, got the biggest cash bonus of any of the Bucs’ rookie free agents. That could mean something, but it’s more interesting that Sutton has the extreme athleticism Lovie covets in his D-linemen, something Bowers and Clayborn don’t seem to possess.

Sutton was just over 6-foot-3 and weighed 245 pounds with a 4.67 40-yard-dash time at his Pro Day. Sutton, of course, was overshadowed by Jadeveon Clowney in college, but he’s an extraordinary athlete in his own right.

Joe caught up to Sutton this week and asked him what Bucs coaches have said they like in his game. “Relentless play, effort, and athleticism,” Sutton responded.

Sutton said he’s really seen how important it is at the pro level to get “everything out of every practice rep” and he’s been proud of “being a sponge” with his opportunity. Sutton also shared his extreme confidence that he can come off the edge effectively in the NFL and even transition to linebacker.

Of course, Sutton is a long shot, (Yes, he’s healthy after a blade in the back) but would Lovie Smith really enter a season without a rookie pass rusher on his roster? That doesn’t happen very often.

Remember, Sutton was one of two undrafted free agents Jason Licht praised on NFL Radio last week.

23 Responses to “Did Lovie Find Another “Prototype?””

  1. Bucfan#37 Says:

    Sounds like a keeper. Hope he stays around. Lovie knows defensive talent.

  2. robert8 Says:

    I think when they let em just pin their ears back I going to make all the difference in the world. That and the return of a 4 man DL

    I swear on Madden I can never win playing 3-4 defense.

  3. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    A really long shot to make the team. He isn’t a threat to Clayborn. Bowers? Perhaps, since Bowers is a complete bust thus far.

  4. Espo Says:

    When did we not use 4 down linemen? I think we went 3-3-5 on occasion last year but it was rare.

  5. SAMCRO Says:

    Sutton will be stashed on the practice squad unless he can make a mark on special teams. But unlike the names Bowers and Clayborn, Sutton is a relative unknown and is practice squad eligible.

  6. pablo Says:

    Pablo thinks this guy is very under sized, and we all know undersized players don’t make it in the NFL. unless you are named Darren Sproles

  7. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    pablo, cover 2 in tampa has traditionally used small but faster guys.

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Provided we ignore the last 5-7 years here, that were a complete waste of time.

  9. BucsfaninChina Says:

    Something tells me L&L really liked Dee Ford.

  10. Netwalker Says:

    Note to Pablo. Darren Sproles isn’t a defensive lineman.

  11. Jack Burton Mercer Says:

    Built like a strongside linebacker more than a DE.

  12. Snook Says:

    Daquan is a waste. Cut him please.

  13. MadMax Says:

    As the resident Gamecock/Buc here, Im surprised he went undrafted….lucky us! There were times when Clowney was singled because of Sutton (that is when Clowney could stay on the field….good luck in that Texas heat). But hopefully he’ll pick up at this next level and be a gem in the rough for us.

  14. Bucamania Says:

    Very interested to see Sutton play this TC and pre-season. Definitely one to watch.

  15. lurch Says:

    Joe, these stories are why I like to come to this site. Got to see him play a bit last year. He may not unseat Clayborn but I think Bowers (unless he has a freakish camp) is in trouble.

  16. Louis Friend Says:

    The kid has a quick burst. Looks more like a LB when he gets upfield.
    Highlight video:


  17. Jeffobrien Says:

    I am excited for preseason this year just to see guys like this. See if we can actually find a diamond in the ruff. Every team has a 5th rd or later steal on there team. When do finally get to find a Greg hardy in the 6th rd instead of getting busts in the early rds. I think Daquan is done he is soft and don’t have a motor. I watched him a lot the last couple years at the games live singling him out. And some plays he looked unblock able then he would absolutely just stand up and not even try on other plays. He just don’t have the motor to be a nasty player.

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    You can never have enough depth, especially after watching Teo Ne’sham(sp) play last year.

  19. Stank Says:

    All this hate for Clayborn and the guy has been arguably our most productive DE in years… Clay is a good football player, period! You don’t just cast off guys like that. Yes, he’ll have to prove he fits in this scheme and that he can be productive from both sides but it’s way premature to throw dirt on the kid…. 13 sacks in basically 2 seasons played isn’t bad at all.. 13 is the same amount the beloved Michael Bennett put up in his last 2 seasons as a Buc…

  20. Jim Walker Says:

    Watch the St Louis game again. Go to the 5:15 first quarter where Clayborne gets the roughing the passer penalty. The watch the next play where Clayborne gets rag dolled by the backup LT of the Rams. Then the next play he hardly got out of his stance and made no effort to stop the run. 1:30 seconds into the 1st quarter, another run where Clayborne makes no effort to peruse the ball and just watches the run up the middle.

    The guy is a bust and actually a detriment to the team.

  21. MR.T Says:

    I doubt the Bucs would have paid him a 15K signing bonus if they thought he was just a “long shot” to make the team or at least the practice squad. He could beef up to the 260lb. range or as mentioned transition to LB. Just another of the many interesting players to watch over the next few months.

  22. MR.T Says:

    After reading that evaluation of him looks like a project that needs a lot of work. Could be a PS candidate for long term development. We’ll see.

  23. STANK Says:

    @Jim Walker… Clayborn isn’t a bust. Our defensive scheme under Greg Schiano the past 2 seasons was disgusting. He had our DE’s stunting constantly on run and pass downs. Despite that Clayborn had better than average sack, TFL and hurry numbers. The kid isn’t perfect but he’s much better suited for Lovies D where our ends can pin their ears back and stop the run on the way to rushing the passer. Btw, it’s not a defensive ends job to stop runs up the middle. They have to stay home and contain.