The Denver Broncos have big expectations of Courtland Sutton. After taking the 6-foot-3 wide receiver in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the athletic wide receiver made a big impression right off the bat in his rookie year.
Sutton finished the 2018 season with 42 receptions on 84 targets. The former SMU star recorded 704 receiving yards and found the end zone four times as well. In fact, Sutton performed so well as a first-year pro, that many believe it factored into the Broncos’ decision to trade Demaryius Thomas to Houston.
Now, entering his second season in the league – Sutton hopes to build off the success of his freshman campaign and prove he is one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the NFL.
“I think, personally, in the red zone I’m one of the biggest threats that DBs go against,” Sutton told reporters Monday. “Every DB that I played against or will play against will probably say the same thing. They might not show it, but they know.”
Sutton explained that his frame makes him a mismatch for most defenders anywhere on the field, but especially in the end zone. With an increased role in the passing offense, Sutton is looking forward to showcasing his abilities more in 2019.
“I’m definitely looking forward to capitalizing more on that more this season, being able to put more in the red zone and take advantage of that,” Sutton said.
Along with the potential of scoring more touchdowns, Sutton is also excited for the potential of what he can accomplish with Joe Flacco as the starting quarterback. According to Sutton, the duo have been getting in plenty of reps together in OTAs.
“Getting those reps is key and we’re building our connection more and more every day,” Sutton said.
However, the young wide receiver knows that this process of getting a feel for each other will take time. As Sutton explained, it’s easy to establish chemistry when they get to face familiar defenses in practice every day. Once the season gets going, though, the two will really be able to learn what works for them.
“I don’t think it ever really stops – you always get to learn what he likes and what doesn’t like,” Sutton said. “And he gets to learn where I’m going to be and how I like to get the passes in certain places on certain plays. So, reps are key.”
What has surprised Sutton about Flacco so far? His athleticism. “I think that’s one thing that a lot of people underestimate,” Sutton said.
Sutton explained that Flacco gets stereotyped as a statue in the pocket – but the second-year pro believes the veteran QB is much more mobile than he’s given credit for.
“He can move in the pocket and he has so much confidence in his arm,” Sutton said. “That’s one thing that I really enjoy, having him be really comfortable with his throws. He knows where he can get the ball to. He’s willing to make those throws and take those chances.”
While Sutton’s comments likely were not meant to be a dig at Case Keenum, it’s clear that the skill players recognize the difference Flacco has already made in the early stages of the season. Broncos fans will hope that this increased confidence leads to an increase in win totals.