- Name: Courtland Sutton
- College: SMU
- Position: Wide Receiver
- Height: 6'4"
- Weight: 218 pounds
2017: 68 catches for 1,085 yards (16.0 average), 12 TDs
2016: 76 catches for 1,246 yards (16.4 average), 10 TDs
2015: 49 catches for 862 yards (17.6 average), 9 TDs
The 2018 Wide Receiver class is deep but lacks a lock for the first receiver off the board. One of those players vying for that selection is Courtland Sutton out of Southern Methodist University. Sutton presents teams with an interesting skillset and track record. He's produced all three years that he has started at SMU, compiling 193 catches for almost 3200 yards and 31 TDs. He also has the physical tools, standing at an imposing 6'4", 218 with an excellent vertical jump. Yet, his relatively weak competition in the AAC leaves questions about his ability to handle top flight corners. Still, his raw ability make him a lock for a first or early second round pick in the NFL draft.
For Sutton, it starts with his measurables. He's adept at winning 50/50 balls, boxes out defenders well, and uses his size to high point the football. Because of this, he's a matchup nightmare in single coverage and drew safety help for most of the year. He has also shown a lot of versatility, lining up both outside and in the slot and executing. For a big receiver, he's surprisingly elusive in space, and in a screen heavy offense at SMU, made defenders miss early and often. As a plus, he's a tremendous blocker, and doesn't mind doing the dirty work, something that will serve him well his rookie year.
As I mentioned earlier, Sutton has not faced much top tier competition in his time at SMU and there is a big gap from the corners in top 5 conferences vs. the AAC. Additionally, he needs to be more consistent. There were games where he would disappear for long stretches. Part of that was the defense rolling coverage his way, but the best players can still impact the game. He is not a polished route runner and did not run the whole route tree in the SMU offense. And, lastly, he lacks top flight speed and the ability to separate. His strength and body control have usually counteracted this during games, but a good showing in the 40 at the combine would provide a serious boost for his draft prospects.
Courtland Sutton is a big framed wide receiver in the mold of Mike Evans that could very well provide a team with their number one target of the future. For fantasy purposes, he projects as a draft and stash prospect for your dynasty league. His lack of college competition and limited college playbook means he will likely need more time to adapt to the NFL than others at the position. That being said, his upside is high and he is worthy of a first round pick if you can afford to sit on a prospect.