We spoke to Rick Serritella of NFL Draft Bible to learn more about potential Green Bay Packers first-round draft target, SMU receiver Courtland Sutton.
Could Sutton be the pick if Alabama wideout Calvin Ridley is off the board?
The three-star high school recruit opted to stay in the state of Texas, after receiving offers from BYU, Colorado and Rice.
Sutton wasn’t able to make an impact when he first stepped onto campus. After two games, he suffered a season-ending injury and was redshirted.
His presence was immediately felt when he returned from injury and started in all 12 games the following season.
He led the Mustangs with 49 receptions, 862 yards and nine touchdowns. Despite the team going 2-10, he set a freshman record for receiving yards and was a USA Today Sports Freshman All-America team selection.
As the Mustangs improved on the field, so did Sutton in his sophomore and junior season. As a sophomore, he caught 76 passes for 1,246 yards and 10 touchdowns.
In his final season, he was a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate and on the Biletnikoff Preseason watch list, an award given to the nation’s best wide receiver.
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Statistically, Sutton didn’t live up to those standards, but still caught 68 passes for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns. He helped lead the Mustangs to their first bowl game since 2012.
The 6-4 playmaker left his mark at SMU and according to Mel Kiper’s rankings, is the second best wide receiver in the 2018 NFL Draft.
What are Sutton’s strengths?
“This long, strong receiver possesses great size and plays with physicality, making him an extremely dangerous weapon inside the red zone, especially on contested balls. His ball skills and prototypical frame will draw mass appeal, not to mention his tenacity when asked to block.”
What are Sutton’s weaknesses?
“The NFL is all about speed and questions surround Sutton’s quickness. He doesn’t show explosiveness or burst out of his stance, hence he struggles to gain separation. His lack of top-end speed and need to further develop his route running can also make talent evaluators wary.”
“His ability to utilize his size and win jump balls is very reminiscent of Brandon Marshall. He currently holds a solid top-50 overall draft grade.”
How would Sutton fit with the Green Bay Packers?
“With Jordy Nelson turning 33 next season and entering the final year of his contract, Sutton would be the natural successor to work the underneath game as Rodgers’ possession wideout.”
Make sure to read Rick’s entire scouting report on Courtland Sutton.
Yes, we are talking about the Packers possibly drafting a wideout in the first round.
The last time Green Bay made this type of bold decision was back in 2002 when they selected Florida State wide receiver, Javon Walker.
Although we discussed the possibility of the Packers drafting Alabama’s Calvin Ridley, Sutton is a much more realistic option and there is a better chance he is still on the board.
At 6-4, the Texas native would immediately become one of Rodgers’ biggest targets on the field. The only taller wideout currently on the roster is Michael Clark.
Lets not get ahead of ourselves just yet, but if the Packers decide to part ways with Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb, or even both, a first-round wide receiver is not out of the question and Sutton could make an impact immediately.