Denver Broncos' sixth-year wide receiver Courtland Sutton has been through a lot with the team and has unfortunately had quite the saddening career in Denver. When you truly consider everything that Sutton has had to deal with in Denver, it's honestly surprising that he has not forced his way off the team.
And frankly, I would not have blamed him if he would have done that at some point. Sutton was the team's second-round pick back in the 2018 NFL Draft and was an encouraging young piece playing alongside Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas (RIP). Sutton enjoyed a solid rookie year, catching 42 passes for 704 yards and four touchdowns.
He then exploded a bit in year two, amassing over 1,000 receiving yards, six touchdowns, and a Pro Bowl nod. In his third season, a year that many thought Sutton would reach even higher levels, he tore his ACL in Week 1, which ended his season. That year was supposed to be a huge one for Sutton, who was looking to build off of a very encouraging Pro Bowl year in 2019.
In 2021, the 6-foot-4 WR bounced back nicely, catching 58 passes for 776 yards and two touchdowns. They're mostly modest numbers, but solid production nonetheless. He was a bit better in 2022, catching 64 passes for 829 yards and two touchdowns. His being another year removed from his ACL tear in 2020 likely contributed to his uptick in production.
Now in 2023, Sutton has dropped a few pounds and is playing faster than ever. He's had a stellar offseason and might finally get to settle into a competent, functioning NFL offense, which is something that he's never really got to enjoy during his time in Denver. You see, Courtland Sutton has had to deal with catching footballs from the following players:
Case Keenum, Joe Flacco, Brandon Allen, Drew Lock, Teddy Bridgewater, and a sorely bad Russell Wilson in 2022. Even with this violently inconsistent QB play, Courtland Sutton has averaged 63 catches, 912 yards, and four touchdowns over a 17-game sample size. I get that Sutton's allure from his Pro Bowl season has worn off a bit, and he's even taken a backseat as the second-best WR to Jerry Jeudy, but the truth is, Courtland Sutton has been through quite a bit of nonsense with the QB play as a member of the Denver Broncos.
Even though he has never really put up huge numbers, he's remained consistent during his career. Now entering his age-28 season in the NFL, we should all hope that Sutton takes advantage of what should be an improved offensive scheme from Sean Payton.