The Bears ended day two of the 2014 NFL Draft the same way the started it -- taking a defensive tackle.
Arizona State's Will Sutton was the Bears pick in the third round at No. 82. The 6-0, 303 pound lineman started his very first game of his freshman season (2009) against Idaho State.
Sutton won back-to-back Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2012 and 2013. He played at a much more natural weight of about 290 lbs in 2012, hence his impressive sack total of 13.
In total at Arizona State, Sutton appeared in 51 games making 39 starts. The two-time All-American started two games his freshman season before being off the team in 2010 due to academics.
But he quickly bounced back and became a regular starter on the defensive line as a three-technique. He generated 162 tackles along with 45.5 tackles for a loss, 19.5 sacks, nine pass deflections, four forced fumbles and an interception in four collegiate seasons.
Some may argue that Sutton was a better pick than Ego Ferguson, who the Bears took with the No. 51 selection to open up things on Friday night for the franchise.
half-serious with this tweet, swap the rounds of ferguson and sutton and i bet #bears fans are happier.
— dan durkin (@djdurkin) May 10, 2014
The anticipation is that Sutton will get back to playing at a weight around 285-290, so he can use his speed to his advantage once again much like his solid junior season. He had 64.5 tackles, 23.5 tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles to go along with his 13 sacks in that 2012 campaign.
"Everybody there is great and I love what they've got going on and I'm just glad to be a part of what they're trying to do and just being a part of Bears history," Sutton said via Chicagobears.com. "There's just so much history in that program."
Sutton is a great value at this point in the draft considering he has similar talents to Aaron Donald or Ra'Shede Hagemen, who both were picked well before him.
Bears general manager Phil Emery has made it very clear that the Bears want to win now. By adding Sutton, Ferguson on day two and Kyle Fuller on day one to go along with the entire off-season class this new look defense should be hungry with some young blood mixed in nicely.
STRENGTHS Very good athlete. Good body control and balance. Feels blocking pressure and finds the ball quickly. Effective spin move. Shoots gaps and makes plays behind the line. Flattens down the line and can range to the sideline. Strong tackler and athletic enough to string down backs in space. Outstanding career sack production (20.5) from the interior.
WEAKNESSES Short. Questionable competitiveness and desire. Motor runs hot and cold. Will disappear for stretches. Has some underachiever traits, and work ethic has a lot of area for improvement. Average strength at the point of attack. Can be turned and rooted out of the hole by the double team. Can improve hand use and develop more of a pass-rush arsenal. Poor timed speed.
BOTTOM LINE Bulked up and added a lot of bad weight as a senior, negating his initial burst and diminishing his production, yet still showed good quickness off the ball. Played at a more natural weight and was noticeably a step quicker in 2012. Fits best as an under tackle in an even front and would be best playing close to 290 pounds. Would benefit tremendously from a disciplined nutrition regimen.
Sutton is a pure athlete and that is something the Bears lacked last season with Henry Melton banged up. He will come in this off-season and learn from a true pro in Jeremiah Ratliff and compete for snaps behind him.
Ferguson and Sutton could be a solid tandem together as Sutton has the potential to be a steady pass-rushing under tackle, while Ferguson will be a run stuffer, who will play the two-technique.
Overall, the Bears have found themselves three very talented defensive players so far in this draft all of whom are versatile and not only serve as building blocks for the future, but help from day one.
Emery and Co. keep on making solid picks. This team is certainly not in a transition year like many expected, especially after the off-season they've had and the draft picks they've made so far. So far so good for the 2014 Bears draft class.
The Bears still have four more picks in the 2014 draft: in the fourth round (No. 117), the fifth round (No. 156), and two in the sixth round (Nos. 183 and 191).
Here is the rest of the full mock draft I wrote up on Thursday that breaks down all seven Bears picks, 2014 NFL Mock Draft: Chicago Bears Edition.
Also, take a look at the analysis of the Kyle Fuller selection at No. 14 from the first-round and the Ego Ferguson selection in the second round.