Photo credit: Vikings.com
Last week the Vikings signed wide receiver Michael Floyd. On Wednesday they added another piece to the roster.
Vikings sign DT Will Sutton waive DT Toby Johnson
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) May 17, 2017
Sutton was drafted in the third round (82nd overall) by the Chicago Bears in 2014 out of Arizona State. He was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year two years in a row.
— William Sutton (@SweetTeaWillie) May 17, 2017
After Linval Joseph, the other defensive tackle spot is wide open. Sharrif Floyd’s (knee) career is in jeopardy. Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen will still be in the mix, along with fourth round pick Jaleel Johnson (Iowa). Jones may also see some time too at that spot.
In Sutton’s three seasons with the Bears he appeared in 36 games, starting in 18 of them. He totalled 60 tackles, but no sacks. He missed the final seven weeks of the 2016 season due to an ankle injury.
Interesting pickup by the Vikings with Will Sutton. He was never a fit in the Bears 3-4 defense.
— J.R. (@JReidDraftScout) May 17, 2017
The Vikings also signed fellow NFC North rivals Riley Reiff (Lions) and Jones (Packers) earlier this offseason.
Jones, like Sutton was not a good fit for the 3-4 defense. The Vikings run a 4-3 defense, which will be a better fit for both. Sutton is not a lock to make the roster by any means, but depth and competition always helps. The Bears started running the 3-4 defense in 2015.
Here is his draft profile from 2014 via NFL.com:
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.
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.
Mike Zimmer also is known for rotating his lineman, which is another reason why this signing makes plenty of sense.
Last season Stephen started in all 16 games. Maybe he will again, or maybe Jaleel Johnson or Sutton will. Not having Floyd perhaps at all in the future is tough news for the Vikings and will definitely take a team effort to replace him.