SMU WR Courtland Sutton a talented NFL Draft prospect

FRISCO, TX - DECEMBER 20: SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton dives for a pass during the DXL Frisco Bowl game between the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and SMU Mustangs on December 20, 2017. (Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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The Super Bowl held the exciting conclusion to an otherwise unremarkable 2017 NFL season on Sunday so the only thing left to do now is turn our eyes toward the NFL Draft.

The NFL Draft is just a little over ten weeks away which gives us ample time to investigate some prospects that might intrigue the Dallas Cowboys as they look to bounce back from a disappointing year which ended in seeing their NFC East rivals hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

Today we'll be looking at a local wide receiver who could become a talented target for Dak Prescott for years to come.

Courtland Sutton

Position: WR

College: Southern Methodist University

Height: 6’ 3 1/8”

Weight: 216

College Production:

Class

Games

Rec

Yards

Avg

TDs

Fr*

2

2

27

13.5

0

Fr

12

49

862

17.6

9

So

12

76

1246

16.4

10

Jr

13

68

1085

16.0

12

Totals

39

195

3220

16.5

31

*Sutton received a medical redshirt in 2014, only appearing in two games.

Courtland Sutton played two sports while attending SMU, having played a total of four minutes in three games for the Mustangs’ basketball team for the 2015-2016 season. He scored three points and secured two rebounds. His future was always going to be with football, however.

In high school Sutton played tight end and safety. He was listed as a defensive back his freshman season of 2014 according to sports-reference. As a full-time starter at WR for the Mustangs, Sutton averaged over 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns per season.

One of the first things that you should notice about Sutton will be his size. Standing roughly at 6’3” (team website shows 6’4”), he towers over most cornerbacks. He looks the part of a NFL wide receiver. With his size, Sutton can go over the top of a defensive back to high-point the ball. He uses his hands to pluck the ball out of the air.

A play that many Cowboys’ fans are familiar with is the back-shoulder fade that Dez Bryant has scored on time and time again. Above you see that Sutton can also score touchdowns in this manner. Having another receiver who possesses this skillset can really help this team in the redzone as it causes a matchup nightmare for the defense. Especially given the fact that this team often forgets about their all-pro running back near the goal line in some cases.

Sutton shows the ability to get downfield with separation from defensive backs. His production declined some in terms of yards and catches from 2016 to 2017 but when reviewing the games, SMU's quarterback play didn’t help Sutton much.

Sutton also has shown that he is prone to drops due to focus. Of the drops I witnessed, most often he was looking downfield when these occurred. One shouldn’t believe this will be a common occurrence, but they do happen. He also plays with a lot of passion and that at times can get him in trouble with being too physical after the play.

A player can have tremendous size but will he utilize it to his advantages? Sutton often does that whether it be in the red zone going up for a jump ball or running after the catch. Smaller defensive backs will struggle to take him down one on one especially after Sutton gets moving north and south.

Dependent upon how the NFL combine shakes out later this month, Courtland Sutton could very well make a name for himself. Likely he will run somewhere around a 4.6 40 time. He isn’t a speed threat, but he does have enough to get by defenders.

With the needs on the defensive side of the ball and on the offensive line, it is difficult to fathom the Cowboys going for him with their first pick. Should it fall that way, the Cowboys could really help out their quarterback with the acquisition of Courtland.

 

Should the Cowboys go for the local WR or should they worry about other needs? Make your case for Sutton to Patrick on Twitter @DraftCowboys.