Stephon Tuitt was a first-team All-Independent after starting all 13 games. He finished his career tied for third in Notre Dame history with 21.5 career sacks. In 2012, he was a second-team All-American with 12 sacks, which ranks second in single-season school history just behind Justin Tuck in 2003 with 13.5 sacks.
Stephon Tuitt wasn’t able to participate at the NFL Combine due to injury, but did record 31 reps on the bench. He was in a walking boot when Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert were at Notre Dame's Pro Day in March. Tuitt then visited the Steelers on April 3. This indicates that they must be interested. He looks to be a late first or second round pick and most likely would be available for the Steelers at 15th overall. At 6’5”, 304 lbs, he is a unique defensive prospect who can play a three-technique defensive tackle spot as well as a 5-technique defensive end in either 3-4 or 4-3. Stephon Tuitt is a refined rusher for his age and experience and possesses the size and length to play over the center and attack both the A and B gap and the quickness to attack off the edge. Tuitt played multiple positions in every game for the Irish so he is used to moving around. He is one of the most versatile, high-ceiling down linemen available in this draft. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to officially display that speed and quickness at the combine or pro days because of injury. His versatility makes him so appealing - look at what Cincinnati did with pre-ACL tear Geno Atkins, who has turned into a pretty good defensive lineman and can play inside or outside. He is said to be a workout freak by baling hay for local farmers to increase his leg strength and, at the same time, help the community. Tuitt sounds like he is a high character guy as well.
Game film displays many positive attributes of his game that would project well to the NFL. See the attached video versus the USC Trojans when Notre Dame defeated them 14-10 to get an idea of his recognition, explosion, quickness and strength against the zone run play and the ability to shed blockers using great technique, cutting off running lanes, demanding a double-team, and chasing and chopping down running backs. Tuitt powers his way into the backfield not allowing the offensive tackle to stay on the line of scrimmage even against multiple blockers. In passing situations, he uses a swim move, quickness, good feet and good leverage to get to the quarterback with his long arms.
The Steelers witnessed a significant increase in production from third-year defensive end Cameron Heyward in 2013 largely because they had their defensive ends attack the pocket more in than they had in the past. Heyward will enter the 2014 season as arguably the most productive player on the defensive line. Even as Tuitt develops as a player, the thought of having him and Heyward playing along the line is intriguing and gives them a ton of options for every situation.
Stephon Tuitt definitely looks the part for the Steelers- has prototypical dimensions for a five-technique defensive lineman. He has long arms to shed blocks and holds his ground at the point of attack and disrupts passing lanes. He has excellent movement skill for a man his size and wraps up very well when he gets his hands on a player. As mentioned above, he is versatile in any scheme and position. With no Huddle offenses armed with powerful quarterbacks and versatile tight ends in today’s game, this type of player can come in handy. Playing multiple positions on all three downs gives them the ability to stay on the field with sub packages without sacrificing the ability to defend the run, draw, or rush the passer.
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