SMU WR Courtland Sutton
The Seahawks are entering rare territory this off-season. For the first time in Russell Wilson’s career, the Seahawks sat out the NFL playoffs, something which sees them picking in the top 20 for the first time since 2012- the year they took Wilson in the 3rd round.
With limited picks and maybe more ‘holes’ than many may realise, the team may not be able to afford a luxury pick ahead of need. But with free agency likely to see the departure of Jimmy Graham and perhaps WR Paul Richardson, finding a touchdown scorer to help WIlson and WR Doug Baldwin may see them clamour for a big, redzone target with their first pick.
Enter SMU’s redshirt senior WR Courtland Sutton; Sutton- at 6’4 and 220lbs has the length and size which is not currently on the Seahawks roster, but Sutton has spent the last three years breaking a mould for the Mustangs.
Breaking the Mustang Mould
In recent years- SMU has produced few offensive stars who make a imprint on the NFL. Aldrick Robinson and Emanuel Sanders the last two Mustang WR to make plays on Sundays. Sutton is five or six inches taller than both those and for the Mustangs, brought a size and stature to the offense that was a welcome anomaly.
After being recruited as defensive back and redshirting his first year, Sutton flipped to offense and immediately became a reliable, big-play, touchdown threat for the offense. In 2016 however, he rose to prominence with a 1,246 yard season going with 10 scores on just 76 catches as Chad Morris began to bring the SMU name back in the bowl game hunt.
Despite a quieter year in 2017, Sutton still surpassed 1,000 yards and scored 12 touchdowns despite the emergence of WR Trey Quinn- who will also be in this year’s draft class. Sutton cemented himself as one of the top WR names in this years crop and his game fits for Seattle.
Sutton is not an immediate-flash like some, but he eats up the yards with ease and ‘builds up’ speed as a deep threat. He is a concise route-runner, with room to improve and has subtle moves to be somewhat under-appreciated after the catch. His willingness to block will also win him supporters in Seattle.
So what of Sutton in Seattle at 18?
As mentioned above, the Seahawks are picking earlier in this draft for the first time in six years. That year they took a ‘wildcard’ pick in Bruce Irvin- and later Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson- in one of the top-echelon draft hauls in recent years. It’s that ‘wildcard pick’ that Irvin was which Sutton will fall under if he is the selection in April.
In 2012, the cupboard was slightly less stacked- and rich. It was an emerging roster, the 2018 version is one which aged rapidly over the past year or so and has what appears a clear path to ‘addressing’ through this years draft. Sutton would be worthy of the ‘luxury’ but at this juncture appears unlikely at 18. The now-annual Seahawks trade back may open up the chance of Sutton being the pick, but his stock will likely discount that.
A name to watch as the combine rolls round at the end of the month, a time which will see his stock clearly defined alongside the other top names of a decent looking group in 2018.
Profile in Brief
Name- Courtland Sutton
School- Southern Methodist
Measurements- 6’4, 218lbs
Comparison- Martavis Bryant or Alshon Jeffery
Picture from vergecampus.com