Courtland Sutton


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By: Willie Lovato


The Pros:

  • Size/Speed
  • Physical
  • Catch Radius
  • 50-50 ball machine
  • Ability to pick up YAC
  • Redzone mismatch
  • Dominate blocker potential
  • Great body control

 

Size/Speed - The common theme among big-bodied receivers is that they lack the deep-speed and quick feet to match their physicality. Courtland Sutton is not a burner by any means but does possess the adequate speed to create enough separation both downfield and on intermediate routes. The question marks surround his foot-speed, straight-line-speed,  and explosion were put to rest with a strong outing at the combine, ranking in the 84th percentile in terms of SPARQ score.

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Physical - Many will brush aside this trait due to his lack of competition, don't be that guy. Sutton's physicality shows up in many ways including his athletic testing, his blocking, and more importantly his go-to approach for dominating cornerbacks. His ability to keep defenders boxed out of position and attack the ball in the air makes him a handful to stop

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50-50 ball machine - A 35.5 inch vertical helps the 6'3" Sutton come down with more 50-50 balls than not. His ability to time his jump correctly also is a big reason he will be an immediate redone threat.

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Yards after the catch - Sutton was routinely used in the SMU screen game. I'd expect that trend to continue on the next level due to his ability to pick up yards after the catch. Not only is he a handful to bring down but he has good enough vision to get through traffic. This will also be a good weapon to keep defenses from playing off coverage without consequence.

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Dominate blocker potential - Some scouts will argue that his blocking inconsistencies are a con. They can't, however, argue the fact that he has put a ton of dominate blocking on film during his stat at SMU. If an NFL coaching staff can get the most of Sutton in terms of blocking, cornerbacks beware.

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Great body control - Sutton's tape is littered with off-target passes from below-average quarterbacks. Not only is he physically gifted but he knows how to get the most of his abilities. His ability to adjust pre-jump and at the point of attack helps him come down with some receptions that would have been incompletions otherwise. 

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The Cons:

  • Route running
  • Questionable competition
  • Consistency

Route running - Sutton does not need to master the route tree to be successful at the next level but rather master the ones that match his skill-set and will be asked to run on the next level. I don't expect Sutton to be asked to run too many more routes than the handful he ran at SMU, but sharpening up certain aspects of running those routes such as hand-usage and technique rather than relying on being the more athletically gifted guy will be key to his success moving forward. 

Questionable competition - This "con" is something Sutton couldn't control. He played the hand he was dealt and played it very well, accumulating 2,331 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns over his last 2 seasons (25 games) at SMU. A combination of bad QB play and defenses game planning around Sutton were key factors to his numbers being down in 2017 compared to 2016.

Consistency - Whether it's blocking or selling routes, there are glimpses of inconsistent effort from time to time when watching Sutton's tape.

Summary: 

You can count the wide receivers (in this draft class) with the potential to be a true #1 WR on an NFL team with one hand, Sutton is one of those players. His skill-set provides a ceiling as high as any other. After showing out at the combine, don't be surprised if Sutton is the first wide receiver to get his name called come Draft day. 

Fantasy Impact:

Sutton is everything you want from a fantasy perspective. A big-bodied wide-receiver with a skill-set that projects as a #1 option on his future team. We all know scoring touchdowns is the fastest way to rack up fantasy points and Sutton will be an immediate redone threat. Given the right landing spot, Sutton could end up going as early as the 1.02 in Dynasty leagues.