2014 NFL Draft: Prospect Profile -- Stephen Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame

The New York Giants used free agency to shore up their roster and remove "need" from their draft considerations about as much as can be realistically be expected. Along the defensive line they re-signed veteran defensive tackle Mike Patterson and added defensive end Robert Ayers to fill the void created by Justin Tuck's departure to Oakland.

And while additions could be a good patch in the short-term, the Giants' defense is built on the strength of its defensive line. It might behoove the Giants to add another young lineman in the draft.

With that in mind, let's look at the talented and versatile lineman from Notre Dame: Stephon Tuitt.

Pros

- Massive defensive end: 6-foot-6, 304 pounds

- Could be at home in a 3-4 or 4-3 front

- Powerful, nasty lineman who can control double teams and dominate 1-on-1s

- Versatile. Combines DT power with DE speed

Cons

- Suffered a hernia late in the 2012 season and had offeseason surgery, he didn't quite recover by the 2013 season.

- Production dropped in 2013, and his play was inconsistent

- Fractured foot kept him out of the Scouting Combine. Injuries could be a concern going forward (a la Justin Tuck).

Does He Fit With The Giants?

No, but also yes.

His best fit is probably as a defensive end in a three-man front (5-technique). However, if he can be the same kind of powerful, violent, and dominant player he was in 2012, he probably could play on the edge in a four-man front.

For the Giants Tuitt could wind up as a "Lamarr Houston"-type who would be an industrial-sized bookend to JPP, who could also slide inside and play DT on passing downs.

Prospect Video


Big Board Rankings

Big Blue View - 53

Mocking The Draft - 34

CBS Sports - 40

Draft Countdown - 20

Draft Tek - 33

Final Thoughts

Like his teammate Louis Nix, Stephon Tuitt wasn't the same player in 2013 as he was in 2012. After his surgery, Tuitt couldn't quite regain the power and explosiveness that helped him to dominate in 2012. And like Nix, if he falls due to his drop in production but regains his 2012 form with a good off-season, some team is going to be thrilled with an absolute steal.

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