SMU wide receiver Courtland Sutton is one of 30 2018 NFL Draft prospects scheduled to meet with the Eagles in Philadelphia for an official pre-draft visit, according to a report from Geoff Mosher.
The 22-year-old Sutton measures in at 6-4, 218 pounds and is projected be one of the top wide receivers in this year’s class. Bleeding Green Nation’s Ben Natan has Sutton ranked as THE No. 1 overall wide receiver prospect.
Courtland Sutton has put some great tape out there over the last two years but he cemented his status, for me, as the draft’s top receiver after he blew up at the Combine. Not only does he measure up well at over 6’3” and 218 pounds with long arms and big hands; but Sutton tested incredibly well. A 4.54 40 yard dash is great for his size and he killed the agility drills with a mind-blowing 6.57 second three-cone. Sutton was the key player in the SMU offense over the last three years and dominated the competition with his size, physicality and athleticism. He needs to improve as a route runner, but he is a well rounded player who can run away from defenders after the catch, go up in traffic to make plays in tight spaces and get open deep down the field. On top of that, Sutton is notably a player of very high character. Coming from a smaller school might hurt Sutton’s draft position; but it would not shock me to see him be the most productive player from this class almost right off the bat.
Key Stat: Averaged over 16 yards per catch in the last two years.
NFL comparison: Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers
BGN’s Michael Kist is also very high on Sutton.
In this case, it’s a dig route by Sutton. Again, remember this is a big bodied WR with rare movement skills for his size. At the top of his stem, Sutton has to drop his route side shoulder and accelerate his arms as he sinks his hips while flashing his eyes outside. He pulls this off well, but the real magic happens as his smoothly flips his hips inside. Keeping his pad level low, a tall task for a tall man, and his arms tight to his body, Sutton snaps his eyes back to the quarterback as he exits the break. While most speed cuts require a parallel angle, this is situational 3rd down football from Sutton, who bends his route upfield and past the sticks before securing a catch. Notice the separation he creates from his man. It’s the result of sound technique and a high level of athleticism.
Sutton tested very well at the 2018 NFL Combine, which is evidenced in his spider graph (scroll down). He also finished his four-year college playing career with 195 receptions for 3,220 yards (16.5 average) and 31 touchdowns. The bulk of his production came over the last two years.
The Eagles don’t have an immediate need at wide receiver. Alshon Jeffery signed a long-term contract in December, Nelson Agholor broke out as one of the league’s best slot receiver in 2017, Mike Wallace figures to be a Torrey Smith replacement, and Mack Hollins seems like a good No. 4 option at worst.
Looking further down the line, Agholor will be a free agent in 2020 (assuming the Eagles likely pick up his fifth-year option for 2019) and the 31-year-old Wallace is playing on a one-year deal. Besides, Philadelphia would be hard-pressed to have “too many” weapons for franchise quarterback Carson Wentz.
You also have to keep in mind the rumor that the Eagles are looking to add an “impact wide receiver” in this year’s draft.
The combination of Jeffery and Sutton would certainly give the Eagles one of the tallest wide receiver duos in the NFL. Maybe Philadelphia is trying to recreate a sort of Brandon Marshall - Alshon Jeffery dynamic the Bears once had.
Scouting report via NFL.com:
Overview: Sutton is a possession receiver who has the size and toughness to handle a heavier target load if necessary, but he will need to improve as a route runner because his play speed and separation is nothing special. Sutton’s ability to win in contested catch situations could get him early playing time as a second or third receiver, but he may not have the explosiveness to ever become a top-flight WR1.
Draft Projection: Round 2
NFL Comparison: Muhsin Muhammad
Sources Tell Us: “He’s got to get quicker and learn to separate or he’s going to be wearing coverage around the field. He’s very mentally and physically tough so I think he’ll get it figured out.” -- NFC team regional scout
Spider graph via Mockdraftable:
Complete list of known Philadelphia Eagles draft visits
SMU WR Courtland Sutton
South Alabama DB Jeremy Reaves - [Click here]
Alabama S Ronnie Harrison - [Click here]
USC LB Uchenna Nwosu - [Click here]
Alabama LB Rashaan Evans - [Click here]
UCF CB Mike Hughes - [Click here]
Maryland LB Jermaine Carter - [Click here]
Central Arkansas CB Tremon Smith - [Click here]
Iowa C James Daniels - [Click here]
Miami TE Chris Herndon - [Click here]
South Carolina State LB Darius Leonard - [Click here]
San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny - [Click here]
Western Michigan OT Chukwuma Okorafor - [Click here]
Northern Iowa WR Daurice Fountain - [Click here]
Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch - [Click here]
Stanford S Justin Reid - [Click here]
LSU RB Derrius Guice - [Click here]
LSU CB Donte Jackson - [Click here]