Data Scout Notes: 2017: 12-23-17- Announced Early Entry into 2018 NFL Draft/1stC...2016: 1stC...PBiletnikoff
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Courtland Sutton Southern Methodist University Mustangs Wide Receiver 6-3, 218, 4.58, #16 Brenham, Texas Brenham High School Birthday: October 10, 1995
SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton was named first-team All-American Athletic Conference. In regulars season he had s a team high and is tied for sixth nationally with 12 receiving touchdowns in 2017. His 1,017 receiving yards give him 3,152 for his career placing him sixth among active FBS leaders, while his career receiving touchdowns (31) place him third. All stats were before DXL Frisco Bowl, Dec. 20, against Louisiana Tech.
The junior is second all-time at SMU in career receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and 100+ yard games (14). He has also put together a streak of 35 consecutive games with a reception, tying him for ninth nationally.
A preseason Heisman Trophy candidate and All-America selection, Sutton was named to the Biletnikoff and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Preseason Watch Lists this season.
Sutton was named an honorable mention All-America selection by SB Nation.
Southern Methodist can hardly be considered a hotbed for NFL talent ever since the legendary Eric Dickerson earned the No. 2 overall selection back in 1983 but current standouts Emmanuel Sanders (Denver Broncos) and Cole Beasley (Dallas Cowboys) provide plenty of evidence that if there is one position the Mustangs can still gallop, it is at wide receiver.
The physically imposing Sutton - whose has caught 31 touchdowns passes over the past three seasons -appears poised to continue SMU's impressive recent track record of pass-catchers.
After spending his prep career split between tight end and safety, Sutton did not generate the same sort of attention as a prep as some of the other highly regarded receivers in the 2018 draft. He played in just two games as a true freshman, hauling in two passes for a total of 27 yards before being shut down for the year and redshirting.
Sutton exploded onto the scene a year later, however, setting a school record with 862 receiving yards and tying Sanders for the most touchdowns by an SMU pass-catcher with nine scores to earn USA Today Freshman All-American honors. A year later, Sutton galloped past some of the thoroughbreds in recent SMU history, breaking Aldrick Robinson's (Atlanta Falcons) sophomore school record with 1,246 receiving yards on 76 grabs and 10 touchdowns to become the first Mustangs' wideout to earn First Team all-conference honors since Beasley back in 2011.
Sutton was even more efficient in 2017, hauling in a career-best 12 touchdowns over the regular season to earn First Team All-American Athletic Conference honors and ranking amongst the most productive receivers in conference history.
It is easy to get excited about Sutton's blend of size, athleticism and sure hands. Critics, however, will point out that Sutton's top games in 2017 came against the likes of North Texas (eight catches for 163 yards and a career-high four touchdowns), Connecticut (7-112-2), Houston (11-160-0) and Navy (7-123-2) - hardly a who's who of elite defenses in college football.
The traits are there to project success in the NFL and warrant a top 50 selection. Given the questionable talent, lack of press coverage and minimal routes run at SMU, however, don't be surprised if this Mustang is a bit late out of the gate.
BACKGROUND Earned three stars as a recruit after spending his high school career at tight end and safety. Spurned offers from BYU, Colorado and Rice to sign with SMU. Received a medical redshirt in 2014 after playing in the first two games. Elected to play basketball a year later but saw limited action, playing in just three games and totaling three points and two rebounds in four minutes of action.
STRENGTHS Possesses the build of a prototypical No. 1 NFL receiver with broad shoulders, long arms and a tapered, athletic frame with good overall musculature. Natural hands receiver who collects passes easily, showing very good concentration and hand strength to secure the contested grab. Can track the ball over his shoulder, as well as come back towards the ball and pluck before taking the big hit. Is not afraid to use his size and strength to box out defenders for the ball, showing good timing and body control to win 50-50 throws and adjust to poorly thrown balls. Can contort in the air to adjust, making him a natural red zone threat.
Smooth accelerator off the line of scrimmage with enough build-up speed to be a vertical threat. Surprisingly agile for a receiver of his size with good lateral agility and a stop-start move. Shows good vision to set up blocks, weaving through traffic and using his natural size and strength advantage to bully his way and create additional yardage after the catch. Showed improved savviness as a route-runner in 2017, varying his gait to create separation and using shoulder fakes to leave defenders guessing and recognizing the potential for big gains on "free plays" when the defense was clearly offside... Experienced playing inside and out, theoretically easing his transition to the NFL. The clear-cut top option at SMU and might blossom with a greater supporting cast... - Rob Rang 12/14/2017
WEAKNESSES Lacks elite suddenness off the snap to frighten NFL defensive backs, showing smooth but not sudden acceleration to create separation. Does not explode out of his breaks and throttles down on comebacks and stop routes which could lead to interceptions against the elite cornerbacks he will face in the NFL.
Can be too physical, resorting to pushing off defensive backs to create separation and drawing offensive pass interference penalties (TCU, Houston 2017). Could improve in his ability to recognize and improvise, failing to adjust his routes when his quarterback is in trouble. Did not face much press coverage in college and will need time to adjust in this area. Despite playing multiple receiver positions at SMU, ran a fairly limited route tree... Gets in the way as a blocker but is not the dominator that his build and hype suggest... -- Rob Rang 12/14/2017
COMPARES TO: Hall of Famer Art Monk, Washington Redskins. The elite size-speed matchup in recent NFL history is Randy Moss, a 2018 Canton finalist. Sutton's blend of height, agility, underrated straight-line speed and reliable hands is a closer comparison to Monk, a 6-3, 210 pounder who earned a yellow jacket based on consistency, including in the red zone with 68 career touchdowns.
IN OUR VIEW: Today's NFL passing attacks feature physical mismatches and perhaps no one in the 2018 draft class boasts a more intriguing combination of size, athleticism and ball-skills than Sutton, who recorded 31 touchdowns over the past three seasons, building upon his production each year after tying current Denver Broncos' standout Emmanuel Sanders' SMU freshman record with nine touchdowns.
Critics will point to Sutton's lack of ideal straight-line speed and questionable level of competition. His production (and this year's relative average receiver corps, however) are likely to earn him a top 50 grade with a first round selection in his very large catch radius.
Sutton was named first-team All-American Athletic Conference. In regular season he had s a team high and was tied for sixth nationally with 12 receiving touchdowns in 2017. His 1,017 receiving yards give him 3,152 for his career placing him sixth among active FBS leaders, while his career receiving touchdowns (31) place him third. All stats were before DXL Frisco Bowl, Dec. 20, against Louisiana Tech.
Second all-time at SMU in career receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and 100+ yard games (14). He has also put together a streak of 35 consecutive games with a reception, tying him for ninth nationally (before Frisco Bowl).
A preseason Heisman Trophy candidate... Named to the Biletnikoff Preseason Watch List... Named a preseason first-team All-American, All-AAC offensive and Top 30 AAC (No. 3) Player by College Football News...
A second-team preseason All-American, All-AAC first team and Group of 5 wild card player by Athlon Sports... Selected No. 18 on SI College Football's Freaks List and No. 28 on its Top 100 Players of 2017 preseason list... Selected as the No. 11 player on Dave Campbell's Texas Football 50 Most Import College Football Players in Texas preseason list... No. 1 on College Football 24/7 Top Wide Receivers to Watch in 2017 list... Named College Sports Madness preseason third-team All-America and first-team All-AAC.
Played and started in all 12 games at wide receiver…Became the first SMU receiver to garner first-team all-conference honors since current Dallas Cowboy Cole Beasley in 2011…Led the team in receptions (76), receiving yards (1,246) and receiving touchdowns (10)…Ranked in the top-20 in the nation in receiving yards per game (103.8 – 12th), receiving yards (1,246 – 19th) and receptions per game (6.3 – 20th)…Became just the ninth Mustang to register 1,000 yards in a season, finishing with 1,246, which ranks third at SMU…Ranked ninth in school history with 2,135 receiving yards and sixth in SMU annals with 19 receiving touchdowns…Currently holds both the freshman and sophomore single-season receiving yards record…HONORS: Named preseason First Team Athlon Sports American Athletic all-conference...Named to both the Biletnikoff Award and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award preaseason Watch Lists…Named to the 2016 First-Team All-American Athletic Conference… Named Earl Campbell Tyler Rose National Player of the Week (Nov. 22)…Named to The American Weekly Honor Roll three times (Sept. 5, Nov. 14 and Nov. 21)…SCHOOL RECORDS: Set the Mustangs sophomore record for receiving yards with 1,246, previously held by current Atlanta Falcon Aldrick Robinson…Set a single-game school record for receiving yards (252) on a career-high 13 receptions against USF.
Played and started in all 12 games at wide receiver... Had team highs in catches (49), yards (862) and touchdowns (9)... Recorded individual highs in catches (8), yards (165) and touchdowns (2) against Tulsa as two touchdowns against Baylor... Tallied three 100-yard games and was named to the AAC Honor Roll after totaling eight catches for 165 yards and two TDs against Tulsa…Threw two passes that went for a total of 75 yards... Was fourth on the team in scoring with 54 points... SCHOOL RECORDS: Set the SMU freshman record for receiving yards with 862, previously held by Ron Morris's 688 receiving yards... Tied current Denver Bronco Emmanuel Sanders for most receiving touchdowns by a freshman with nine…HONORS: Was named to USA Today Sports Freshman All-America team... Was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List.
Received a medical redshirt... Played in two games, making two catches for 27 yards before being shut down for the year.
Joined the team on Jan. 28 2015... Played in 3 games… Totaled 3 points & 2 rebounds in 4 min… GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Scored 3 points and had a rebound in his SMU basketball debut at USF 2/7.
Brehham High School, Brenham Texas. A three-star Rivals.com, Scout.com and 247sport.com and ESPN.com recruit... As a senior, named first-team All-District as a tight end and second team as a safety... Named first-team All-District as a safety during his junior campaign... Chose SMU over offers from BYU, Colorado and Rice.
Parents are Phelicia and Ryian Marshall.
Draft Scout Player News
02/28/18 - 2018 NFL Combine Quotes: On Courtland Sutton: "We're fortunate in Dallas and in Texas, they're a lot of great football players who play in our local high schools, play in our local colleges. We'll have a Dallas day for the local guys around our 30 visits when we start our draft meetings and it's fun to get those guys to come out. Again, we're fortunate cause there's a lot of guys who played high school football or college football in our area who are real prospects. So we'll go through with that process with him, we'll get him out to our building and get a chance to get to know him more. But he's obviously has been a really good player and someone I think everyone in the league thinks highly of." - Jason Garrett, Head Coach, Dallas Cowboys
02/27/18 - 2018 NFL Combine: Athleticism Key for these Prospects: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU...Sutton faces a large jump from what he was asked to do in SMU's offense compared to the NFL. His routes lack refinement, and scouts are eager to put a number on his speed -- is he a 4.52 athlete? Or more like 4.58? - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
12/30/17 - 2017 ALL-AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM (COACHES): WR Courtland Sutton, SMU, Jr.,...Sutton finished the regular season among active FBS leaders in career receiving touchdowns (3rd, 31), receiving yards (6th, 3,152), yards per catch (7th, 16.7) and receiving yards per game (7th, 82.9). In 12 games, he registered 62 catches for 1,017 yards and 12 touchdowns. Sutton is second all-time at SMU for career receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and career 100+ yard games (14) lists, while his 2017 total placed him second on the single-season touchdown list (12). A preseason Heisman Trophy candidate and All-America selection, Sutton was named to the Biletnikoff and Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Preseason Watch Lists this season. - SMU Football
12/23/17 - WR Courtland Sutton, a potential first-round selection, has announced he will enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Sutton ends his Mustangs career with 195 receptions for 3,220 yards and 31 touchdowns. He is listed as the No. 24 overall prospect for the 2018 draft, according to NFLDraftScout.com.
Sutton (6-4, 215) has the look of a lead NFL receiver, according to NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang, who writes: "Today's NFL passing attacks feature physical mismatches and perhaps no one in the 2018 draft class boasts a more intriguing combination of size, athleticism and ball-skills than Sutton."
09/13/17 - WEEK 2 STOCK REPORT: The early favorite to be the top receiver drafted next April, SMU redshirt junior WR Courtland Sutton (6-3, 218, 4.58, #16) dominated against North Texas on Saturday, finishing with eight catches for 163 yards and four touchdowns. SMU faces a fast and physical TCU defense this weekend in the battle of Dallas-Fort Worth, presenting an interesting challenge for Sutton, who has gone over 100-yards receiving against the Horned Frogs each of the past two seasons. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com