2017 NFL Draft Prospect Preview: Courtland Sutton

The Southern Methodist University Mustangs failed to qualify for a bowl as they finished this season with a 5-7  record. This kept their star wide receiver, Courtland Sutton, from performing on a national stage this bowl season.

There is surprisingly little content on the ‘Viz regarding Sutton so far and by his own twitter account, he plans to make his announcement on entering the draft or returning to school on Wednesday. Let’s get to know him a little better. 

The Player

If you pay attention to fantasy Twitter at all, you probably already know the name Courtland Sutton. The 6-foot-4-inch, 215-pound WR has been bandied about with the cream of the crop at the position with the likes of Mike Williams, Corey Davis, Juju Smith-Schuster and John Ross and deservedly so. A quick peak at Sutton’s productive career.

2014 1 2 27 13.5 0 0 0.19 0.00 0.10
2015 12 49 862 17.6 9 0.75 0.33 0.47 0.40
2016 12 76 1,246 16.4 10 0.83 0.39 0.45 0.42
Career 25 127 2,135 16.8 19 0.76 0.30 0.31 0.31

Sutton suffered a season-ending injury as a freshman but was able to appear in one game where he recorded 2 catches for 27 yards before using a medical redshirt. There is steady improvement year over year in market share of yards (MSYD) and while his market share of TDs (MSTD) dipped, his overall TD went up in his final season. Over the final two seasons – Sutton’s age 20 and 21 seasons – he was responsible for 41 percent of the passing offense which would suggest Sutton is worthy of a top 20 NFL pick. Kevin Cole also produced great work last season on what makes collegiate production so important. His work yielded this regression tree.


I’ll spare you the work of following along the tree and just tell you that Sutton ends up in the second node from the right. In this node, 57 percent of WRs have produced a top-24 PPR fantasy season. Jordan Hoover compared his age 20 season production with a few NFL stars earlier this season.

The Competition

Sutton is hyped as one of the best receivers in this draft and with good reason. We’ve already gone over his stellar production profile, but how does he stack up against other top receivers in the draft? Shawn Siegele projected how he believes the top 12 picks in this year’s rookie draft class will fit in amongst the top 100 dynasty players. He sees Sutton as the fourth WR drafted, with a total of five being selected in the top 12. Here is how Sutton stacks up with the other four.

Courtland Sutton 1,246 16.4 0.30 0.39 0.45 0.42
Corey Davis 1,427 15.7 0.41 0.42 0.56 0.49
John Ross 1,150 14.2 0.20 0.32 0.37 0.35
JuJu Smith-Schuster 914 12.4 0.28 0.25 0.32 0.29
Mike Williams 1,267 14.1 0.22 0.28 0.24 0.26

Sutton stacks up extremely well against the other top receivers in the draft. Mike Williams narrowly edged him out for second most yards, and Sutton leads the pack in yards per reception. He’s also second amongst the group, trailing only uber-prospect Corey Davis, in every other category.

The Future

There’s a long way to go between now and the draft in March, with the combine and some All-Star games in between and we don’t even know if Sutton will declare for this years draft yet. Due to his late announcement, CBS Sports does not have Sutton ranked in their prospect rankings while NFL Draft Scout has him as their fifth WR. Sutton should definitely be drafted in the top three rounds of the NFL Draft and has a great shot at success at the next level. He should be a lock in the first round of dynasty rookie drafts. You can check out cut-ups of Sutton at DraftBreakdown.

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By Lucas Crocker | @330Luke | Archive

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