2018 NFL Draft Player Preview: Courtland Sutton







  • Courtland Sutton, 6-3/205

  • Wide Receiver

  • SMU


  • Courtland Sutton 2017 Preview
    By Charlie Campbell

    Career Recap: In the preseason of 2016, sources said they had been really impressed with Sutton. One scouting director told WalterFootball.com that in studying up on players before hitting the road for college training camps, Sutton's talent really stood out. As a redshirt freshman, he totaled 862 yards and nine touchdowns on 49 receptions with an average of 17.6 yards per catch in 2015.

    In 2016, Sutton totaled 76 receptions for 1,246 yards - 16.5 yard average - with 10 touchdowns. He played well for SMU and could have been a first-round pick if he had entered the 2017 NFL Draft. Sutton decided to return for his junior year instead.





    2017 Season Outlook: Sutton has an easy schedule in terms of future NFL competition, but he will see tons of double coverage as a junior. TCU cornerback Ranthony Taxada and Connecticut cornerback Jamar Summers could be third-day prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft and are slated to take on Sutton.

    Skill-Set Summary: There is a lot to like about Sutton as he may have the potential to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. He isn't likely to be a top-end No. 1 like Julio Jones or A.J. Green because he doesn't have their speed, but Sutton could be a difference-maker and a mismatch problem who helps his quarterback by virtue of his size.

    Sutton provides his quarterback a big target who is very good at winning contested catches. Routinely, Sutton will sky over a defensive back to make a difficult reception. Similar to Mike Evans or Mike Williams, Sutton isn't a huge separation receiver, but he is always a threat, because like them, he makes catches even with a corner right on him. With his ability to win 50-50 passes, Sutton is a tremendous red-zone weapon and should be an asset as a touchdown producer in the NFL.

    Similar to Evans and Williams, Sutton isn't a burner, yet he has enough speed and quickness to get downfield. From there, he can use his size to finish off receptions to pick up yards in chunks, which has led to a good yards-per-reception average in his career. Sutton also can win underneath using his size and catch radius.

    Sutton does a very good job of tracking the ball downfield and has adept body control to make acrobatic catches. He also shows run-after-the-catch skills and is dangerous with the ball in his hands. Sutton's hands are solid, and his route-running isn't a weakness, although he will need development there for the NFL. Sutton should be a nice receiver for a West Coast offense as he has the versatility to function as a X (split end) or Z (flanker) receiver.

    There is one characteristic that this draft analyst would like to see, and when mentioned to NFL scouts, they agreed with me; Sutton needs to be more physical with cornerbacks. He has such a size advantage with his height and strength that he should bully them around more. Sutton needs to play with more anger and toss them around. Sometimes, he can be a little finesse. It would be good to see Sutton push around defenders and play with a mean streak. That would make him a more dangerous receiver and a more intimidating presence for his offense. If Sutton were to play with more physicality, he could be a Dez Bryant-type weapon.



    2018 NFL Draft Expectations: Entering the 2017 season, Sutton has the potential to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.







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