by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Oklahoma, Linebacker, Danny Stutsman
Name- Danny Stutsman
HT/WT- 6’4” 240 lbs.
Home – Windermere, FL
Danny Stutsman attended Foundation Academy in Winter Garden, Florida. He finished his elite high school career with 333 tackles, 20 sacks, 47 tackles for loss, and 8 forced fumbles as well as 3,252 all-purpose yards and 43 touchdowns on offense. He was a 4-star prospect by 247Sports and a 3-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals. He chose Oklahoma over Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and West Virginia amongst others.
In his freshman year, Stutsman played in 10 games and totaled 38 tackles, 1 sack and 2 forced fumbles. He missed 3 games during the season with an injury but still was very productive in his freshman season.
Last season, he was named honorable mention All-Big 12 after starting all 13 games and tallying 125 tackles, 3 sacks and 2 interceptions.
So far this season, Stutsman has been one of the most productive linebackers in the country. Through 6 games, he has 58 tackles, 2 sacks and 1 interception that was returned for a touchdown.
Danny Stutsman has ample range and closing speed, always playing downhill while taking excellent angles to track down ball carriers. He has enough straight line speed to keep up with tight ends and running backs and shows efficient timing to make plays on balls in the air. He has multiple moves as a pass rusher that works to keep blockers on their heels. Stutsman excels at the inside pass rush, regularly beating interior linemen on their inside shoulders, and is flexible and long enough to beat tackles around the edge. His instincts allow him to break off zone coverage to make a play on counters and misdirections and he breaks down well, using the right mechanics to be a tackling machine.
However, he does struggle to disengage blockers at times and tries to go around blockers instead of meeting them head on. He plays too upright in certain situations and will often fail to anchor with power to hold his own against bigger opponents. He’s not consistently a fluid mover and has tight hips that hinder his change of direction in pursuit.
Danny Stutsman has a unique style of play that reminds Draft 412 of former 2018 first round pick Leighton Vander Esch. Stutsman’s tackling ability mirrors that of the Cowboy veteran, and Stutsman may be a touch better in coverage while Vander Esch holds an edge in putting pressure on a quarterback from time to time. Stutsman will not get drafted nearly as high as him, but he could become that type of linebacker in the NFL.
If Danny Stutsman continues his productive season, he will continue to march up the draft boards. Draft 412 had Stutsman as a late draft pick before the season and now can see Stutsman possibly getting selected on day 2 of the draft.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 4th round