Courtland Sutton Working With Anquan Boldin to Become a 'Dominant Receiver'


There aren't many wide receivers in this year's draft with Courtland Sutton's abundance of gifts.

He stands in at 6-foot-4, 218 pounds. He's physical. He's confident.

But when asked for his biggest weakness during NFL Scouting Combine interviews, Sutton admitted it's getting separation, specifically in and out of breaks, without just bodying defenders up.

"Sometimes that's a struggle that I do have," Sutton said. "I understand that. It's something that I've seen, they've all seen it. But I'm not to my peak yet. I'm not even close to my peak."

So who did Sutton enlist to help him?

None other than former Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who knows a thing or two about how to get open when you're bigger (or stronger) than your competition but not going to beat them with speed or quickness.

Sutton has been training at XPE Sports in Boca Raton, Fla., with Boldin, who abruptly retired from the Buffalo Bills two weeks after joining the team in August, ending a sparkling career.

"I got to work with him and see what you do in this particular route, just getting the things out of his brain that helped him be a 15-year vet in the league," Sutton said.

Sutton said Boldin taught him how to be more deceiving with his route-running.

"You want all your routes to look exactly the same. Whether you're running a go-route or a dig route, you want make it look like you're running a go every single time," Sutton said. "That's really huge and for a bigger guy all people think I can do is just go over the top."

Boldin didn't have Sutton's size, but the two are both viewed as more possession receivers than burners.

Sutton's speed isn't bad, however. He ran a the 40-yard dash in 4.54 seconds, and his impressive three-cone drill (6.57 seconds), which was the third-best among all wideouts, shows he may have more quickness than his tape shows.

Sutton put up massive production at SMU despite shaky quarterback play. The junior topped 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in each of his last two seasons. He posted 31 career touchdowns.

He's also brimming with confidence.

"I would say that I'm a dominant receiver," Sutton said. "I'm somebody that when I'm on the field that I need everybody on defense to feel my presence, whether it's D-line, linebackers, safeties, every corner, whether you're guarding me or not, I need everybody to understand where I am."

There aren't many receivers like Sutton in this year's draft class. The top targets such as Alabama's Calvin Ridley, Texas A&M's Christian Kirk and Maryland's D.J. Moore all have smaller frames or shorter heights. If the Ravens want a big-bodied outside threat, Sutton could be the ideal fit in the late-first or second round.

"I just need somebody to believe in me when I tell them that I will be that [dominant] guy for them," Sutton said. "And if they just invest in that opportunity to let me be that guy for them, I won't let them down."

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