Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports picked five second-year players most likely to have breakout seasons in 2019. At the top of his list was Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton who had himself an underrated rookie year last season.
As a whole, he averaged a hefty 16.7 yards per reception with four receiving touchdowns. Sutton had 15 receptions of 20 or more yards as a rookie, the 19th-most among all pass catchers last season. Two more than Stefon Diggs. Sutton also drew four defensive pass interference calls, the 11th-most in football among receivers, per Football Outsiders.
In all, Sutton had a splashy, low-volume rookie season without that legitimate breakout game. Now, without Thomas eating into his targets for half a season, a new quarterback in Joe Flacco, and 32-year-old Sanders returning from tearing his Achilles on Dec. 5, Sutton is in prime position to erupt as a sophomore in the NFL.
Sutton finished his rookie year with 42 receptions for 704 yards and four touchdowns. However, a whopping 36% of his receptions went for the big play of 20 or more yards. His catch radius on those deep passes are insane, so as he refines his more short and intermediate route running he will develop into one of the leagues premier receivers. In that context, it makes the idea of bringing in Joe Flacco - known for his long ball - all that much more intriguing.
Adam Malnati and Ian St. Clair on MHR Radio this week talked about Sutton and his potential as a red zone weapon.
This is the refining of his game aspect that will carry him from occasional big play receiver to a dynamic offensive weapon that opposing defenses worry about.