Pros: A nice north-south runner that runs will good balance. Has nice cutting ability and burst that accelerates to and through the hole. Doesn't shy away from contact and likes to run inside. Capable of bouncing it outside once he gets to the second level. Has some elusiveness there, showing a nice juke and spin move. Has good hands and adjusts well to the ball in the air, making him very effective on screen passes. Keeps his feet moving after contact and can pick up extra yardage.
Cons: Will miss some assignments in pass protection and ball security may be an issue. Durability is a concern.
Overview: Sutton pretty much has the complete package as a runner, capable of running inside and outside with nice speed, vision, and burst. Very productive when healthy, but missed time as a senior due to wrist injury and as a junior due to ankle injury. Most productive year came as a freshman when he had 1,474 yards and 16 touchdowns. This past year had 890 yards and 6 touchdowns in 9 games.
NFL Forecast: If he can stay healthy, I predict Sutton will have a bright NFL future. He has the makings of being a lead back in an offense. He can run both inside and out, and is a capable receiver. He's an underrated player that will probably be stuck working on third downs early in his career. If he can improve as a blocker, he can also excel in that role as well. But if he can stay healthy, I could see him as an every- down back. He reminds me of a lesser version of Clinton Portis, but a much better receiver.
ATL Forecast: Sutton is a better fit in Mularkey's offense as a lead back than Norwood, but probably would ride the pine at least initially because he is not as good a blocker as Norwood is. In a few years, he could eventually take over as the lead back, but doesn't fit the ideal in Mularkey's scheme. Because of the durability concerns, he's not quite the bruiser the scheme prefers. But he could work as the team's third down back if need be. But Atlanta wouldn't be a place where Sutton could thrive.
Value: Sutton is worth a late second round pick for a team looking for a 15-carry lead back. Otherwise, he's a solid third round pick.
Scouting Reports of running backs and fullbacks in the 2009 draft.
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