The sophomore, meteoric rise of ‘Baby Megatron’ Courtland Sutton

Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton (14) pulls in a touchdown pass as Cleveland Browns cornerback Denzel Ward (21) defends during the first half of NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Playing with multiple quarterbacks in one season can be challenging for a wide receiver, let alone three in 12 games. Courtland Sutton has caught passes from Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen and Drew Lock this season. But playing with different guys is all part of a wideout’s job — just ask DeAndre Hopkins and the cast of quarterbacks he has had during his Texans tenure.

One thing is certain. No matter who has been under center for Denver in 2019, Sutton has put up numbers and produced some highlight-reel catches along the way. After his two-touchdown performance against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Chris Harris Jr. dubbed him a “Baby Megatron” in reference to Calvin Johnson.

In training camp, some Broncos’ media members had questions about the jump Sutton could make in his second NFL season, how well he would work with Flacco and if he could become a true No. 2 receiver behind Emmanuel Sanders. Essentially, Sutton was unproven and there was natural skepticism.

As we sit here in Week 13, all those question marks have been answered and then some. Sutton is the Broncos’ clear-cut No. 1 option in the passing game and would be a No. 1 receiver in well over half of NFL offenses.

Through 12 games, Sutton has 54 catches for 906 yards and six touchdowns. Noah Fant is second on the team with 379 yards receiving, a staggering 527 yards behind Sutton. And the way he has put up those numbers has been even more impressive. It seems like every week he makes a play that makes you say “Wow!”

For example, he did this to Denzel Ward and the Cleveland Browns in Week 9.

And yesterday he caught Lock’s first career NFL touchdown in spectacular fashion.

Sutton admitted postgame that the play went off-script and he originally was not supposed to run a fade route. But in the huddle, Lock told him to run a fade and it resulted in a one-handed touchdown catch that has made its rounds on highlight shows across the nation. Broncos Country is hopeful that the Lock to Sutton connection is a familiar sight for years to come.

“He’s a Baby Megatron and you always have a chance at the 50-50 ball with him,” said Harris Jr.

Not only is Sutton elite in catching jump balls and contested catches thrown to him, he has proved to be a tough guy to bring down after the catch. Here is a vicious stiff-arm he handed out in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts.

And for good measure, here is Sutton against the Chargers in the two teams’ first matchup in Week 5.

Sutton’s ascension in Year 2 has been nothing short of remarkable. Ideally, Denver would like to see a similar leap for Fant heading into 2020 as he will be entering his second year. The Broncos’ must form a strong supporting cast around Sutton because he will attract the attention of NFL defenses, meaning game plans will be constructed to take the rising star out of the picture.

If Sutton can get consistent play from his quarterback, there is no doubt he has the upside of a top-five wide receiver in the NFL.

SHARE