4.54 40 YD Dash
Sutton fits all the descriptions of a #1 Wide Receiver. His 6 Foot 3 Inch frame gives him the ability to pinpoint the ball at its highest point. This is important because his speed and route running are nothing special, as his 4.54 40 time doesn’t stand out, and neither does his play speed. His route running also needs to be improved, something he achieved in 2018 but must continue to develop in order to become a true threat in the league.
Courtland Sutton, the second round pick of the Denver Broncos, had a fair, if not underwhelming, rookie campaign.
Sutton did not lack opportunity. With Demaryius Thomas being traded to the Texans Mid-Season, Sutton was afforded an opportunity to serve as the Broncos #2 Receiver. Shortly after, Emmanuel Sanders was lost to a season ending injury, leaving Sutton as the default number one option for Quarterback Case Keenum. Still, he was largely unimpressive for the remainder of the season, with his best performance being Week 16 vs the Oakland Raiders, against whom he caught 6 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown, turning in his best all around performance as a Pro. Still, considering the numerous opportunities given to him by the Broncos staff to succeed, his season was certainly a mild disappointment, particularly his 50% catch rate.
But what is his 2019 outlook? It is important to consider three factors: Opportunity, Scheme, and Quarterback Situation.
Courtland Sutton is expected to have plenty of opportunity to thrive. With Emmanuel Sanders’ recent injury, it is still quite possible the Broncos decide to part ways with the Wide Receiver and save 10 million dollars in cap space. Sutton would then be in prime position to serve as the Number One Receiver in an offense that averaged 38.9 passes per game. Even if Sanders is not cut, Sutton would benefit from Sanders drawing coverage away from him.
Rich Scangarello should be an upgrade for the Broncos offense. The talented coach was able to surprise the league through his work with Nick Mullens, an undrafted 2017 QB that exceeded all expectations in 2018. Scangarello’s ability to get the best out of his QBs bodes well or the passing game, particularly the number one weapon. Still, expect the offense to revolve around Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman as the Broncos attempt to establish themselves as a run-first team. However, the Broncos will likely find themselves in a pass heavy game script often, providing Sutton opportunities to succeed. With another year to polish his route running, Sutton could become a real weapon.
In their search for quarterback stability, the Broncos traded a mid-round pick for Super Bowl hero Joe Flacco. But is he an upgrade over Case Keenum? If he is, it is by a thin margin. Flacco, obviously, is not the quarterback he was in 2012 when he ranked 2nd in deep ball passing. In 2018, he ranked 37th among qualifying quarterbacks. Still, Flacco provides an upgrade in 3rd and long passing as well as red zone passing, something that should benefit the big bodied Sutton. Flacco isn’t an ideal QB, but he should be enough to not completely zap away Sutton’s production.
Courtland Sutton has all the physical tools to be a top receiver in this league. He is in an extremely favorable situation and will be afforded every opportunity to thrive. Still, his track record as a #1 Receiver warrants caution and Joe Flacco limits his 2019 upside. In Dynasty leagues, however, be sure to hold onto Sutton. The best is yet to come for the talented Wide Receiver.