2017 NFL DRAFT

Cameron Sutton, CB

School: Tennessee  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: Jonesboro, GA
Height/Weight: 5-11 / 188 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
89153

Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.52--11 34--6.81
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
4.52--11 3410'0"-6.81

Player Overview

Sutton entered his senior campaign as the picture of reliability, having started all 38 possible games of his college career, only to suffered a fractured ankle against Ohio on Sept. 17. On the bright side, Sutton is expected to return this season, meaning he should be fully healthy for the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine and the rest of the pre-draft process.

He surpassed former All-American and current Pro Bowler Eric Berry in 2015 to be tied for fourth in Volunteers history with 32 career passes defended, just three behind all-time leader Jabari Greer. Sutton has 104 tackles in his career (including 11 for loss) as well as six interceptions (the first he returned for a score) and three forced fumbles.

In large part because opponents elected to ignore his side of the field in 2015, Sutton's defensive numbers dropped a bit from the flashy production he enjoyed over his first two years in Knoxville. With "just" 28 tackles and six passes broken up (including one interception) as a junior, Sutton was knocked by some analytics websites for failing to keep up with the production he had enjoyed in the past, when he averaged 38 tackles and 12.5 pass breakups per year. This included a breakout sophomore campaign in which Sutton recorded 16 pass breakups, the third-highest single-season mark in school history.

In reality, Sutton scored as many touchdowns in 2015 as he allowed in coverage, returning punts against Vanderbilt (85 yards) and Kentucky (84) and leading the country with an average 18.7 yards per attempt. It was the second consecutive season in which Sutton was Tennessee's primary punt returner. He averaged 11.3 yards per attempt in 2014, including a 74-yard touchdown against the Commodores.

Sutton was a three-star recruit by Rivals, Scout and ESPN coming out of Jonesboro high school in Jonesboro, Ga., where he was also a three-year letterman in baseball and basketball.

Cameron Sutton on social media:

Twitter: camsutton23

Instagram: cam23sutton

Strengths Weaknesses

STRENGTHS: Sutton is a confident, fluid athlete at his best in man coverage. He throws up a hand into the face of receivers when in press, showing the strength with his initial jam to hinder receivers off the line, as well as the loose hips to turn and run with them.

Sutton's experience shows in his route anticipation. He changes direction easily and locates the football quickly, showing excellent hand-eye coordination to rip at the ball when it arrives. Sutton offers terrific initial quickness, helping him break on underneath routes and slip past would-be tacklers when he gets the ball in his hands.

Sutton's ballskills are evident in his comfort as a returner, where he shows the soft hands to pluck outside of his frame as well as the savvy to wrap both arms around the ball while in traffic. Demonstrates the second gear and composure with the ball in the air that scouts are looking for.

While scouts would like to see Sutton bring more physicality, the light feet, awareness and soft hands necessary to be a force in coverage are all there. Further, his leadership and work ethic have been lauded by Tennessee's coaches, including by new defensive coordinator Bob Shoop.

In 2015, Sutton asked to switch jersey numbers (swapping No. 23 for No. 7) to honor popular teammate Rashaan Gaulden, who suffered a fractured foot in fall camp and missed the entire season. With Gauden back healthy, Sutton has switched back to No. 23 for the 2016 season.

WEAKNESSES: One of the primary knocks on Sutton is that he lacks ideal size at a shade over 5-11 and 186 pounds with relatively thin limbs. Susceptible to losing receivers on double-moves, but does show good recovery speed.

Sutton's body control and awareness help him overcome his frame while in coverage, but too often he seems content with letting teammates do the dirty work in run support.

Sutton is more finesse than force as a tackler, typically wrapping up ballcarriers and dragging them to the ground. He'll occasionally duck his head and lead with his shoulder, however, resulting in getting dragged himself, and some powerful runners breaking his tackles completely.

Medical checks will be important following a fractured ankle suffered on Sept. 17, 2016.

IN OUR VIEW: Sutton reportedly was given a third-round grade following the 2015 season from the NFL Advisory Committee but given his proven playmaking ability and durability, this may have been a conservative assessment. Barring injury, Sutton is likely to be a top 50 selection in the 2017 NFL Draft. With a flashy last season at Rocky Top - which is entirely possible in Shoop's highly aggressive scheme - Sutton could, in fact, wind up getting drafted much earlier than that.

--Rob Rang, @robrang (9/13/16)

 
 
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