Courtland Sutton 2018 NFL Draft Profile

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DALLAS, TX - NOVEMBER 04: Southern Methodist Mustangs wide receiver Courtland Sutton (16) stretches for yardage after a catch during the game between SMU and UCF on November 4, 2017, at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, TX. (Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Wide Receiver
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 215 pounds
School: SMU Mustangs

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.54 seconds
Bench press: 18 reps
Vertical jump: 35.5 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 4 inches
Three-cone drill: 6.57 (third among wide receivers)
20-yard shuttle: 4.11 seconds (fourth among wide receivers)
60-yard shuttle: 11.06 seconds (second among wide receivers)

Courtland Sutton 2018 NFL Draft Profile

Coming out of Brenham High School, Courtland Sutton was a three-star recruit as a safety. Sutton committed to the SMU Mustangs on signing day, and the coaching staff immediately transitioned him to wide receiver. Sutton’s SMU career got off to a rocky start, as the true-freshman was injured after two games. He would sit out the rest of the year as a medical-redshirt.

The hire of Chad Morris as head coach did Sutton a lot of favors. Morris, previously the co-offensive coordinator of the Clemson Tigers, had a hand in the success of other top collegiate receivers, such as Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant, and DeAndre Hopkins. Sutton appears to be another success story for Morris. In his three full years at SMU, Sutton was a monster despite spotty quarterback play. His redshirt-sophomore year was particularly impressive; he caught ten touchdowns and racked up 1,246 receiving yards.

With SMU being in the American Athletic Conference, Sutton did not face top-tier competition on a regular basis. Performances against lowly North Texas, in which he caught four touchdowns in a 163-yard outburst, were a staple of Sutton’s collegiate career. What is worrying is in the biggest-scheduled game of the year for SMU, Sutton was held catchless against TCU.

Strengths

  • large frame capable of winning 50/50 balls
  • ideal red-zone threat
  • excellent top end speed once he gets going
  • great blocker
  • does not shy away from using his physicality
  • capable of tracking the deep ball

Weaknesses

  • needs to learn complete route tree
  • allows the ball to get too deep into his body on catches
  • often too physical and gets flagged for offensive pass interference
  • lacks short area quickness and does not generate a lot of separation
  • has concentration drops
  • despite big frame, can be bullied by opposing cornerbacks

NFL Comparison: Kelvin Benjamin

Teams With Need at Position: Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers, The Washington Professional Team

Projection: Mid-first round

Bottom Line

Sutton has the type of frame that any offensive coordinator could find a way to utilize. He would instantly be one of the best red-zone threats on almost any team. While he possesses top-end speed capable of keeping the defense honest, he doesn’t appear to be particularly quick or shifty. Sutton will need to work on his hands and his route tree in order to reach his full potential. Overall, Sutton appears to be a very nice complement to diversify a wide receiver portfolio but is not a do-it-all style of receiver that would make him a truly elite prospect. In what is a relatively weak receiver class, Sutton should be a first-round pick.

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