With so many college football players officially declaring for the NFL draft, Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt has added his name to the growing list of pro prospects hoping to hear their name called in May.
Sports Illustrated's Brian Hamilton reported that Tuitt will officially declare for the NFL draft.
BREAKING: #NotreDame DE Stephon Tuitt tells SI he will enter the NFL Draft. "I chose to declare for the NFL," Tuitt exclusively told SI.— Brian Hamilton (@BrianHamiltonSI) January 6, 2014
As a junior, Tuitt had the option to stay one more season with the Fighting Irish, but he decided that this was his best opportunity to be drafted. He's certainly in good shape, as Bleacher Report's own Matt Miller has him going No. 35 overall to the Cleveland Browns. Rob Rang of CBS Sports has Tuitt going No. 14 overall, while Dane Brugler has him going No. 28.
It was a productive year for Tuitt with the Fighting Irish. He finished the season with 49 total tackles, nine tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown. Bleacher Report's Michael Felder had this to say about Tuitt after he declared.
Thing about Tuitt, for me, I'd have loved to let him show off in a 4-3. He was a monster in 3-4 & that's rare. He'll be a quality add on.— Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) January 6, 2014
At 6'7'' and 322 pounds, Tuitt is a monster on the defensive line. He combines the strength and the size of a defensive tackle with the speed and the agility of a defensive end, which makes him a mismatch against most offenses. He is capable of staying low and bull-rushing the quarterback with his strength, but he also has a variety of pass-rushing moves.
At the next level, Tuitt could either play on the end as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 scheme, or he could play as a five-technique in the 3-4. Regardless, any team that drafts him will be prepared to take on a versatile defensive lineman capable of making big plays.