2018 NFL Draft: A Deeper Look at WR Courtland Sutton

Wide Receiver Courtland Sutton out of SMU has been one of the most discussed and debated prospects of this year’s NFL Draft. Some mock drafts have him going as high as #2 overall, while some have him not even going in the first round. Let’s dive in and see why some experts are hot on him, while others aren’t quite convinced.

Take one look at Sutton, and you’ll quickly realize one of his greatest strengths: his height. He stands tall at 6’4″, three inches taller than Alabama WR Calvin Ridley, and five inches taller than Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk. It’s part of what has helped him excel in coming down with contested “50/50 balls”. His similarly long wingspan helps him to have a large catch radius, which is why in 2016, he ranked 5th in the nation in yards on deep plays among this draft class.

Another important aspect of Sutton is his athleticism. He forces missed tackles often when downfield, creating yards after the catch. His missed tackle rate is well above average compared to other receivers in this draft class. This athleticism and versatility also helps him to be an effective receiver out of the slot when needed.

Now, with all players, there are a few downsides. Sutton’s most notable weaknesses are route running and blocking. His route running lacks a level of crispness, and he was well below average in run blocking compared to the rest of this draft class.

Fortunately, his overall level of play makes up for these weaknesses. He’s a highly talented receiver, who should be an instant starter with any team who takes him. He’s a player that has the ability to make acrobatic and entertaining circus catches that should enthrall NFL fans for seasons to come. He’ll almost certainly be either the first or second receiver off the board, likely taken somewhere towards the middle of the first round.

Continue to follow MSB for more Prospect Profiles leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft in April.

Sam Smith

Sam has been with MSB since 2015. He covers stories ranging from all things Maryland to breaking national stories, specializing in the NFL, and college football and basketball. He currently resides in Dallas, Texas, where he attends Southern Methodist University (SMU).

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