Denver Broncos: Courtland Sutton cashing in on red zone targets
The Denver Broncos know they have a weapon in the red zone in Courtland Sutton. He’s been targeted in that area quite a bit over the past few weeks.
When the Denver Broncos drafted the 6-foot-4, 218-pound Courtland Sutton out of SMU, they undoubtedly knew he had big potential as a red-zone weapon.
Sutton’s short-area quickness (a ridiculous 6.57 in the 3-cone drill), size/speed ratio (he ran a 4.54 at almost 220 pounds), and catch radius made him an obvious downfield weapon and primary target when the team is close to scoring, and we’re finally starting to see some of his development in that regard.
In the Broncos’ close loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sutton had two touchdowns on red-zone targets, and he made these plays look relatively easy.
Here’s his first score of the game.
And here’s his second:
The second score was a game-tying touchdown with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter. It should have been a game-winner.
These two touchdowns were Sutton’s first and second of the 2019 season, and it certainly won’t be the last time we see him in the end zone.
In addition to these two red-zone targets, Sutton was inches away from catching a touchdown in red-zone work against the Green Bay Packers last week.
The Broncos might have challenged whether Sutton’s foot actually touched in bounds, but they had already used a challenge and didn’t want to risk losing a timeout.
Sutton’s usage and productivity in the red zone is exciting for a few reasons. First and foremost, he’s proving to be an asset in one of the ways the Broncos most desperately need right now. They need red-zone production, and Sutton is becoming a go-to guy in that area of the field.
Second, Sutton is getting open in ways he wasn’t on a consistent basis last year. He looks more like a complete receiver right now and is doing an awesome job, specifically over the middle of the field.
Hopefully, Sutton’s development as a red-zone weapon will continue to open up opportunities for some of the other guys the Broncos really need to be getting involved when they are down there to improve efficiency, like rookie tight end Noah Fant and slot receiver DaeSean Hamilton.