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2018 NFL Draft prospect profile: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

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Could Sutton be the big receiver the Giants have been looking for?

NCAA Football: Southern Methodist at Navy Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants have been looking for a big receiving threat opposite Odell Beckham Jr. for some time now. However, Brandon Marshall is injured, aging, and might be a cap casualty once he can pass a physical, and Darius Powe is unproven, having lit it up in pre-season, only to be injured on his first NFL play.

As it so happens the Giants have a general manager with a history of drafting big receivers highly and a draft class littered with big bodied wide-outs. SMU’s Courtland Sutton is at the top of the 2018 wide receiver class when it comes to big receivers. He might not be available when the value fits for the Giants, but crazy things happen on draft night, so the Giants should do their homework on him.

Measurables

Pros

  • Prototypical size and frame for the position. Big bodied with plenty of length.
  • Long strider with deceptive speed downfield.
  • Surprisingly quick in a short area for a big receiver.
  • Very competitive. Fights for the ball and as a blocker.

Cons

  • Speed is more “build up” than explosive.
  • Held back by poor quarterback play.
  • Occasionally lets the ball into his body, rather than snatching it out of the air.
  • Competitiveness bleeds into chippiness. Could draw penalties in the NFL.
  • Struggled to deal with double coverage.

Prospect Video

What They’re Saying

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

-via NFL.com

Does He Fit With The Giants?

Judging by the eye test alone, Sutton looks like a fair prospect to be the first receiver off the ball. He doesn’t quite have the explosiveness to truly frighten defenses on a snap-to-snap basis, but he has all the physical tools to be a number one wide receiver in the NFL. He has the catch radius and long speed to threaten deep, the quickness to make something happen in space, and is good as both a blocker and ball carrier in the screen game. Sutton has all the tools to blossom in to a significant contributor once he gets consistent, and consistently good, quarterbacking.

Sutton’s competitiveness stands out on tape, but that can bleed over into outright chippiness as games go on. He drew two offensive pass interference penalties and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty (which could have been two and an ejection) in the games I watched.

Thanks to the scarcity at the top of the wide receiver class and his physical tools, Sutton stands a good chance of being drafted somewhere in the first round. Though the Giants could use a bigger receiver, and Dave Gettleman has shown a preference for them in the past, value and the draft board will likely dictate that the Giants look elsewhere.