Here’s the 2018 NFL Draft profile on wide receiver Courtland Sutton out of Southern Methodist University. Could he be a potential fit for the New York Jets?
The 2018 NFL Combine has come and gone and free agency has officially begun. The New York Jets have sat out on big-time wide receivers Allen Robinson and Sammy Watkins. So, let’s take a look at the strengths, weaknesses and draft day predictions for wide receiver Courtland Sutton, a player that the team can possibly jump on in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Courtland Sutton has garnered a lot of attention and has been regarded as one of the top wide receiver prospects in this year’s NFL draft class. The former Southern Methodist University Mustang may be ahead of the receiver prospect pack due to his size, which can be seen in his 6’3″ and 218-pound frame.
Sutton didn’t fail to impress at the combine either. He ran a solid 4.54-second 40-yard dash, with a 6.57 three-cone drill, 4.11-second 20-yard shuttle and 11.06-second 60-yard shuttle. However, those numbers may be a bit peculiar due to the fact some of his weaknesses are seen in his lack of speed.
The 22-year old had a 35.5-inch vertical jump, 124-inch broad jump and banged out 18 reps on the bench press. These numbers are also odd like his speed drill results. Why? One of his biggest strengths is his jump ball ability.
Sutton’s combine results were right around average and above average in certain areas. He performed just as well, if not slightly better than former Alabama receiver Calvin Ridley. Ridley is regarded as the draft’s best wide receiver prospect.
The Texas native showed development every season in his four years at SMU, which can be seen in his stats. Besides his senior year, he increased his numbers every year. His career statistics were 195 receptions, 3,220 receiving yards, and 31 touchdown catches.
The large receiver’s biggest plus is his size and ability to use it. Sound like someone? Sutton can be seemingly compared to a player like Brandon Marshall. But, there is concern about the level of competition he faced in his conference.
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According to NFL.com, Sutton’s biggest strengths seem to be attributed to his physical frame. His physicality allows him to shake off contact and be able to focus on the ball to make catches in traffic.
As referenced above, Sutton can make jump ball catches with the best of them. He can also run short slant routes well.
Sutton will also use his frame to fight contact on routes. Using his size allows him to position his body to be able to make his catch radius larger. He will work hard on bad throws, uses hands well to fight off coverage on deep balls and can block well.
As stated above, Sutton’s weaknesses could be seen when he played tougher opponents. He played in a conference, the American Athletic Conference, that is not known for its football.
Essentially, Sutton’s weaknesses are that he isn’t fast enough. This lack of speed hurts his routes and ability to get yards after the catch. His speed results in him getting limited separation with defenders.
Sutton is highly dependent upon using his size against smaller defensive backs and he doesn’t show strong enough ball skills at times.
Sutton is projected as a second-round pick. This lands him in the same unknown category as many receivers in the draft like James Washington and Christian Kirk.
Sutton’s physicality is an unteachable asset, which makes the gamble seem worth it. But, if he can work on his foot work to run better routes and develop his ball skills he can make up for his lack of speed.
The former Mustang may be able to jump into the later picks of round one. But, he may fall as far as the middle picks in round two. While he would be an ideal fit for the Jets, they don’t have any second-round picks due to their blockbuster trade to move up from the No. 6 overall pick to No. 3. Sutton will be a very good receiver down the road but it likely won’t be with the Jets.