Sutton Smith
No. 41 – Las Vegas Raiders
Personal information
Born: (1996-03-22) March 22, 1996 (age 26)
Plano, Texas
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school:Francis Howell (MO)
College:Northern Illinois
NFL Draft:2019 / Round: 6 / Pick: 175
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at

Sutton Smith (born March 22, 1996) is an American football fullback for the Las Vegas Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Northern Illinois, mainly as a linebacker.

High school career

Smith played running back for Francis Howell High School in Saint Charles, Missouri.[2] As a senior in 2014, Smith led the Vikings to an 11-1 record[3] before losing to Rockhurst High School (Kansas City, MO) in the Class 6 semi-final playoff game.[4] Smith rushed for 2,046 yards and scored 32 touchdowns, 27 were rushing touchdowns[5] and was named a 1st Team All-State running back by the Missouri Football Coaches Association[6] and the Missouri Sports Writers Association.[7] Channel 5 (KSDK) named Smith their Large School Player of the Year[8] and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch named him their All-Metro Offensive Player of the Year.[9] In 2014 Smith was a top 20 recruit in the State of Missouri and was listed as a 3-star recruit by ESPN[10] and 247Sports.[11]

College career

Smith red-shirted his freshman season at Northern Illinois University, to focus on making the switch from running back to linebacker.

In his red-shirt sophomore season, Smith led the nation in sacks (14), tackles for loss (29.5), and quarterback pressures (73).[12][13] This led to him being a 2017 consensus All-American, including first team selections by the Walter Camp Foundation and the Football Writers Association of America.[14] He was also named Mid-American Conference defensive player of the year.[15] Smith became the 2nd player in NIU history since LeShon Johnson in 1993 to be named a Consensus All-American.[16] Smith broke NIU's single season tackles for loss record previously held by Scott Kellar (20). His FBS leading 14 quarterback sacks broke the single season sack record (12), previously held by Scott Kellar (1984) and Larry English (2006). Smith was a finalist for the 2017 Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's best defensive end.[17] The Maxwell Football Club named Smith a semi-finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, the nation's Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year.[18]

In his red-shirt junior season, Smith led the nation in tackles for loss (27) and was third in the nation in sacks (15).[19] Smith helped lead the 2018 NIU Huskies to a MAC West Division championship as well as a 30-29 win over Buffalo in the 2018 Marathon MAC Championship Game.[20] Following the game, Smith was named the game's Most Valuable Defensive player.[21] For a second consecutive year, Smith was named a First-Team All-American,[22] including first-team selections by the Associated Press,[23] ESPN,[24],[25][26] and USA Today.[27] Smith was a second-team selection by The Walter Camp Football Association,[28] American Football Coaches Association (AFCA),[29] PFF,[30] and the Football Writers Association of America.[31] Smith was also a finalist for the 2018 Ted Hendricks Award[32] as the nation's best defensive end. PFF ranked Smith 24th on their list of the best 101 college football players in America.[33] The Mid-American Conference named Smith a First-Team Defensive End and MAC Defensive Player of the Year.[34] Smith also won the Vern Smith Leadership Award which is the football MVP award for the Mid-American Conference.[35] Sutton Smith is only the third defensive player in the history of the Mid-American Conference to win the Vern Smith MVP honor, joining Central Michigan linebacker Ray Bentley (1982) and NIU defensive end Larry English (2008).[36]

On December 20, 2018, Smith announced that he would forgo his final year of eligibility to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.[37]

During his collegiate career, Smith was a 2-time First-Team All-American, a 2-time First-Team Mid-American Conference Defensive End, and 2-Time Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year.[38] He is the only player in NIU school history to achieve these honors in back-to-back seasons and is the most decorated defensive player in NIU football history.[39][40] In 2019, both Northern Illinois Football and the College Football Hall of Fame named Smith to their All-Decade Teams.[41][42]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 0+38 in
(1.84 m)
233 lb
(106 kg)
30+34 in
(0.78 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.69 s 4.32 s 6.75 s 31.5 in
(0.80 m)
9 ft 10 in
(3.00 m)
25 reps
All values from NFL Combine[43]

Pittsburgh Steelers

Smith was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round, 175th overall, of the 2019 NFL Draft.[44] He was waived on August 31, 2019.[45]

Jacksonville Jaguars

On October 22, 2019, Smith was signed to the Jacksonville Jaguars practice squad, but was released a week later.[46]

Pittsburgh Steelers (second stint)

On November 6, 2019, Smith was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad, but was released the next day.[47] On November 12, he was re-signed to the practice squad.[48] He was released on November 18.

Seattle Seahawks

On December 18, 2019, Smith was signed to the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.[49] He signed a reserve/future contract with the Seahawks on January 14, 2020.[50] He was waived on July 26, 2020.[51]

New Orleans Saints

Smith signed with the New Orleans Saints on May 14, 2021.[52] He was released on August 27, 2021.[53]

Las Vegas Raiders

On November 15, 2021, Smith was signed to the Las Vegas Raiders practice squad, after a season-ending injury to fullback Alec Ingold.[54] He was elevated to the active roster on November 21, and played in his first career NFL game, getting snaps on special teams vs the Cincinnati Bengals in week 11. He was elevated again for the week 12 game of the Raiders versus the Dallas Cowboys, before being signed to a two-year contract on December 3.[55] He also played in week 13 against the Washington Football Team, in week 14 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and week 15 against the Cleveland Browns, mostly on special teams and limited snaps on offense, not registering a rushing attempt.


  1. ^ "MAC ANNOUNCES 2017 POSTSEASON FOOTBALL AWARDS". November 29, 2017. Archived from the original on March 30, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ "NIU's Sutton Smith leaves 'Bama behind, puts foes on backs".
  3. ^ "St. Louis High School Varsity Statistics". December 24, 2014.
  4. ^ Overbey, Steve (November 14, 2014). "Howell's comeback effort falls just short to Rockhurst".
  5. ^ Kvidahl, David (December 25, 2014). "Offensive Player of the Year: Sutton Smith".
  6. ^ Kvidahl, David (December 8, 2014). "Missouri Coaches All-State Team: Class 6".
  7. ^ Kvidahl, David (December 16, 2014). "Missouri Media All-State, Class 6".
  8. ^ KSDK Staff (February 4, 2015). "Howell's Sutton Smith signs with Northern Illinois". KSDK Channel 5 St. Louis.
  9. ^ Kvidahl, David (December 25, 2014). "Offensive Player of the Year: Sutton Smith".
  10. ^ ESPN (February 4, 2015). "ESPN Recruiting FB 2015".
  11. ^ 247Sports Rating (November 20, 2017). "2015 Top Missouri Football Recruits". 247Sports Rating 2015.
  12. ^ Tolentino, Josh (January 16, 2018). "NIU to Lose Defensive Coordinator". Daily Chronicle.
  13. ^ Rozner, Barry. "Rozner: How NIU's Sutton Smith went from unknown running back to superstar defensive end".
  14. ^ "Smith 2nd Huskie with consensus All-America honor".
  15. ^ "MAC postseason football awards dominated by Western Division".
  16. ^ NIU Media Relations (December 14, 2017). "Sutton Smith Earns Consensus All-America Status". NIU Athletics.
  17. ^ Ted Hendricks Foundation. "Smith Named Finalist for Ted Hendricks Award". NIU Athletics.
  18. ^ Rozner, Barry (December 9, 2017). "Rozner: How NIU's Sutton Smith went from unknown running back to superstar defensive end". Daily Herald.
  19. ^ Helwick, Steve (April 24, 2019). "2019 NFL Draft Profile: Sutton Smith, DE/OLB, Northern Illinois". SB Nation.
  20. ^ MAC, Conference (November 30, 2018). "NIU WINS 2018 MARATHON MAC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME". MAC Conference.
  21. ^ MAC, Conference (November 30, 2018). "NIU WINS 2018 MARATHON MAC FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME". MAC Conference.
  22. ^ Mid-American Conference (December 10, 2018). "NIU'S SUTTON SMITH CONTINUES TO GARNER ALL-AMERICAN RECOGNITION". Mid-American Conference.
  23. ^ "2018 AP All-America Team List". The Associated Press. December 10, 2018.
  24. ^ Schutte, Dustin (December 9, 2018). "ESPN releases 2018 All-America Team". ESPN.
  25. ^ SI Staff (December 5, 2018). "SI's 2018 College Football All-America Team". Sports Illustrated.
  26. ^ (December 9, 2018). "2018 All-America Team".
  27. ^ Myerberg, Paul (December 11, 2018). "2018 USA Today All-American Team". USA Today.
  28. ^ Walter Camp Foundation, Carbon (December 6, 2018). "2018 All-America Teams". Walter Camp Foundation. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  29. ^ "2018 AFCA FBS Coaches' All-America Teams". AMERICAN FOOTBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION. December 21, 2018.
  30. ^ Mellor, Cam (December 3, 2018). "2018 PFF All-American Team". Pro Football Focus (PFF).
  31. ^ Richardson, Steve (December 10, 2018). "2018 FWAA ALL-AMERICA TEAM UNVEILED". Football Writers Association of America.
  32. ^ "Smith a Finalist for the Hendricks Award". NIU Athletics. December 3, 2018.
  33. ^ Mellor, Cam (January 9, 2019). "The 101 best players in college football from 2018". PFF.
  34. ^ "MAC ANNOUNCES 2018 AWARDS". Mid-American Conference. November 28, 2018.
  35. ^ "MAC ANNOUNCES 2018 AWARDS". Mid-American Conference. November 28, 2018.
  36. ^ CHICAGO TRIBUNE STAFF (November 28, 2018). "NIU's Sutton Smith earns MAC's top honor and wins 2nd Defensive Player of the Year award". CHICAGO TRIBUNE.
  37. ^ Price, Khobi (December 20, 2018). "Sutton Smith declares for NFL Draft". Northern Star. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  38. ^ Price, Khobi (December 20, 2018). "Sutton Smith declares for NFL Draft". Northern Star.
  39. ^ "Sophomore Becomes Most Decorated Defender in School History". NIU Athletics. December 13, 2017.
  40. ^ NIU Media Relations (December 13, 2017). "More All-America Honors Roll in for Sutton Smith". NIU Football.
  41. ^ Linton, Chance (August 23, 2019). "College Football Hall of Fame Selects All-Decade Team".
  42. ^ "Reflecting on a Decade of Excellence". NIU Athletics. December 16, 2018.
  43. ^ "Sutton Smith Combine Profile". Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  44. ^ "Steelers select Smith in sixth round". April 27, 2019.
  45. ^ "Steelers make roster cuts". August 31, 2019.
  46. ^ "Jaguars Sign Two Linebackers to Active Roster". October 22, 2019.
  47. ^ Bryan, Dave (November 7, 2019). "Steelers Release OLB Sutton Smith From Practice Squad, Re-Sign RB Darrin Hall".
  48. ^ Bryan, Dave (November 12, 2019). "Steelers Re-Sign OLB Sutton Smith To Practice Squad, Release RB Darrin Hall".
  49. ^ Patton, Andy (December 18, 2019). "Seahawks sign linebacker Dekoda Watson".
  50. ^ Boyle, John (January 14, 2020). "Seahawks Sign Six Players To Reserve/Future Contracts".
  51. ^ Rauschenberg, Nathan (July 26, 2020). "Seahawks Waive Seven, Terminate Two, Including Center Joey Hunt". Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  52. ^ "New Orleans Saints announce roster moves". May 14, 2021. Retrieved June 4, 2021.
  53. ^ "Saints sign defensive tackle after tryout, waive backup fullback". Saints Wire. USA Today. August 27, 2021.
  54. ^ "Raiders Sign Ex-Steelers LB to Replace Alec Ingold at FB, Release WR". November 15, 2021.
  55. ^ "Raiders News: fullback Sutton Smith signs 2-year deal". Silver and Black Pride. SB Nation. December 3, 2021.