Excelled as a safety in high school and also played tight
end before SMU converted him to receiver in 2014.
Suffered a season-ending back injury two games into his true
freshman campaign in 2014.
Set the SMU freshman record for receiving yards with 862
with 2015 while tying Emmanuel Sanders' program record for receiving
touchdowns by a freshman with nine.
Briefly played on the Mustangs' basketball team after his
redshirt freshman season.
Set the school's sophomore record for receiving yards with
1,246, previously held by Aldrick Robinson and a single-game
program mark for receiving yards (252) on a career-high 13 receptions
against South Florida.
Four touchdown catches against North Texas in 2017 tied him
for the most by a player in school history.
Best Scheme Fit: Vertical offense. Until route-running and catching technique improves, he probably would serve the most good in red zone packages. Note: All times listed in parentheses
in strengths/weaknesses section reflect the start time on video
- via Draft Breakdown - that displays that skill/trait.
Prototypical build for a receiver.
Able to catch the ball with his hands outside the framework
of his body, particularly on throws behind him. (0:25, 0:38, 1:21, 1:28, 1:49, 3:45, 7:54)
Shows off the willingness to get physical after the catch
with a quality stiff-arm. (0:16, 1:49, 5:06, 7:09)
Uses poor hand technique to catch the ball, leading to unnecessary
drops and/or making things more difficult than they should be.
(0:17, 0:23, 1:14, 1:52, 2:50, 4:51, 10:26)
Does not position himself well on back-shoulder/50-50 balls
either due to inconsistent tracking or poor effort. (0:57, 2:52, 3:36, 7:21, 9:15)
Lacks suddenness and doesn't create much separation on in-breaking
routes in part because he rounds off his cuts. (0:59, 2:13, 2:25, 2:58, 3:22)
Has build-up speed but seems to lack a second gear; gets
behind his defender on occasion but usually did so as a result
of a blown coverage. (1:22, 1:52, 4:58, 7:49)
Shows a bit of wiggle with the ball in his hands but is not
a dynamic run-after-catch threat and goes down easier than expected
for a player of his size.
Occasionally resorts to blatantly pushing cornerback away
from him at the top of his route. (2:16,
Drew three flags in his career for personal fouls for playing
beyond the whistle.
Limited route tree.
It is often easy for evaluators to fall in love with a prospect
because he passes the eyeball test physically. By all accounts,
Sutton has seen his draft stock increase since the college football
season ended, presumably because he looks the part. I'm not so
sure his rise is justified. Don't misunderstand what I'm saying;
there are times where he looks like should be the first receiver
off the board in this draft. The ability to get to a vertical
plane most defensive backs cannot reach comes in handy in the
red zone, and that ability is always going to have a place in
football. He works the sideline better than most big receivers
and is better at the double-move than most college prospects.
He will even throw in the occasional grab like this
one that would make anyone question how he is not a top-10
player in the draft.
Unfortunately, player evaluation isn't about watching highlight
tape and forgetting about everything else. At least on his 2016
tape (not only was it his better year statistically, I had more
access to the video from that season), Sutton's hand placement
was consistently poor. On a number of occasions, his tracking
skills or effort could have been called into question, as he either
overran or didn't attempt to jump on a number of contested-catch
and here are two
exceptions.) He's not a good enough route-runner or quick enough
at this point to create separation at the pro level - he didn't
do a great job of it in college - so I have sincere doubts he
is going to be the alpha-dog WR1 teams want - certainly not immediately
- from their first-round picks at receiver. In case that isn't
enough, Sutton was held to one catch for zero yards against TCU
and five catches for 46 scoreless yards versus UCF in 2017 - two
of maybe three opponents SMU faced last season which may have
future NFL cornerbacks on their rosters.
The high-end projection of Jeffery is lofty despite the fact
Sutton's size and workout numbers compare favorably. Sutton could
get to that point one day, but Jeffery's tape at South Carolina
- at least during his sophomore season in 2010 - was easily more
impressive. At this point, Sutton looks much more like his low-end
comp in Floyd. There's nothing wrong with that, but the crowd
that is buying into Sutton as perhaps the best receiver in this
draft is doing so through rose-colored glasses. His great was
great in college, but it didn't show up near often enough. Perhaps
his concerns are merely a product of him being a relative neophyte
to the receiver position, but patience is going to be needed by
whatever team drafts him because there are more holes in his game
than most teams want in a potential top receiver. The upside is
there but at this stage of his development, Sutton profiles as
a touchdown-dependent second receiver at best.
Doug Orth has written for FF
Today since 2006 and been featured in USA Today’s Fantasy
Football Preview magazine since 2010. He hosted USA Today’s
hour-long, pre-kickoff fantasy football internet chat every Sunday
in 2012-13 and appears as a guest analyst on a number of national
sports radio shows, including Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive”.
Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.