The 2023 NFL season has been full of surprises in a variety of ways, especially for the Denver Broncos. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has shocked many with his incredible resurgence and turnaround on the defensive side of the ball. In general, the Broncos have bounced back from a putrifying 1-5 start to a now 7-6 record with the playoffs seemingly more realistic than initially anticipated.
However, at the wide receiver position, Broncos sixth-year receiver Courtland Sutton has been a very exciting surprise to many fans around the league. The 6-foot-4 physical threat from Brenham, Texas has quickly established himself as the league's most reliable and dominant receiving threat in the red zone this season. Despite not being the most speedy, shifty receiver, Sutton has defied all the odds and arguably cemented himself as one of the 10 best receivers currently in the NFL.
Sutton, 28, has caught 53 passes of just 79 targets this season for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has set a career-high in touchdown receptions, catch percentage (67.1 percent), and passer rating when targeted (123.9). When it's all said and done, Sutton is by far one of the most reliable and valuable players at his position in the entire NFL, and the numbers prove it.
With a touchdown reception in seven of his last eight games, the Broncos' passing offense has been solely reliant on the likes of Sutton's ability to go up and make contested catches when needed. Quarterback Russell Wilson, who has not had the prettiest season in terms of getting the ball out quickly, has extremely benefited from having a receiver like Courtland Sutton in his arsenal. When in doubt, Sutton is seemingly always able to come up with the most difficult receptions imaginable in the most clutch moments. And not even that, his route running in space is underrated as well.
As he made public this offseason, it is fairly evident that Sutton studied a good amount of New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas' film in Sean Payton's offense. There are similar skill sets in comparison between Thomas and Sutton in terms of being a reliable receiver over the middle of the field and even a possession threat outside of the numbers. Sutton has had an unbelievable season at the age of 28 and should very well be on his way to his second career Pro Bowl selection.
As he is not scheduled to be a free agent until the offseason of 2026, the Denver Broncos are in a very favorable position with Courtland Sutton under contract. Considering he is playing as a top-10 receiver in the NFL currently, his remaining $17M cap hits look like an early bargain for general manager George Paton.