NFL DRAFT 2018: COURTLAND SUTTON


Courtland Sutton-SMU

The NFL draft is just days away, and by this point each player has been analyzed, scrutinized, and romanticized by every NFL guru from Kalamazoo to Calcutta. We here at pigskinpress.com turn once again to our director of scouting Nathan Cooper to help us look deeper into the draft at some guys from the group of five that may be a real steal on draft day!

Courtland Sutton College: SMU

Position: Wide Receiver

Year: 4JR

Jersey: #16

Hometown: Brenham, TX

Games Scouted: 2017 #3 @ TCU, #6 @ Houston, #9 UCF, #10 @ Navy (Live) 2017 Stats: 13 GP, 68 Rec, 1085 Yards, 12 TD, 2 Rush Yards, 1 TD Career Stats: 39 GP, 195 Rec, 3220 Yards, 31 TD, 2 Rush Yards, 1 TD, 75 Pass Yards All-Star Game: N/A

Background/Notes

  • 2x First Team All-AAC (2016, 2017 – Coaches)

  • Major is Sport Management

  • 3-Star Composite in 2014 (247Sports)

  • Played basketball in high school and was a part of the SMU Basketball team during the 2015-16 season

Character – A

  • Represented SMU at the 2017 Student-Athlete Leadership Forum in Indianapolis

  • Received SMU’s S.P.I.R.I.T. Award, which stands for service, passion, integrity, respect, innovation and teamwork

  • 3x Team Captain (2015, 2016, 2017)

Medical – C

  • 2014 – Injured his back against North Texas and missed the rest of the season

Strengths

  • Natural hands

  • Good top-end speed

  • Shows RAC ability

  • Good blocker

Weaknesses

  • Concentration lapses

  • Struggles to avoid contact

  • Late off the LOS/false steps on occasion

Summary

Sutton projects as a #1 receiver at the NFL level. He shows the ability to play outside and inside at times. At SMU, he was used all over the field. They ran a lot of the same concepts over and over again, so he ran a lot of the same routes from series to series. He possesses great athleticism and is a natural, quick-twitch athlete. He plays hard and competes with toughness on every play. In the run game, he does a good job blocking on the outside. He is a willing blocker and is effective. Not only does he get in the way of defenders, but he does a great job getting hands on in good position and driving until the whistle blows. He’s the ultimate playmaker in the passing game. Although he body-catches passes more than you’d care to see, he possesses natural hands and the ability to pluck the ball out of the air. He does tend to have concentration lapses at times and will drop some easy passes. He is a solid route runner with some savvy in his routes, but he didn’t run a great mix of routes that he’ll need to run more consistently at the next level. He also struggles to avoid contact in the middle of his routes and will get re-routed from time to time. When he catches the football, he shows the ability to run after the catch, make defenders miss and create extra yardage. He is a long-strider and has top-end speed to be a home-run threat. He does a very good job tracking the ball and has great body control in the air. He creates separation with speed, but doesn’t normally use his off-hand to create at the last second. In the four games scouted, he was called for offensive pass interference twice by using both hands to shove the defender to try and create separation. Sutton is able to get a clean release off the LOS most of the time, but sometimes is slow off the ball. On occasion, he will be the last one to move after the snap and will false step at the LOS. He has a very hunched over stance at the line and needs to false step or take a false action to get upright before he gets going. On 3rd down, he can play anywhere on the field, and although he should be a threat on the outside, he could move inside to create mismatches on linebackers, safeties and smaller corners. Sutton has the rare blend of size and speed that team’s covet. He should come in right away and be in the mix for targets year one and be a full-time starter at some point his rookie campaign. It shouldn’t take long for him to become a team’s #1 and become one of the elite receivers in the league.

NFL Comparison: Corey Davis, Titans (1st Round, 2017) Sutton and Davis compare favorably in build and athleticism. Both players have a rare blend of size and speed with natural hands, but tend to have concentration lapses on occasion.

Grade: 7.0 (Early-Mid 1st Round)

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