Broncos' WR Courtland Sutton Named to Pro Bowl, Replacing Injured DeAndre Hopkins: Report

Chad Jensen

Denver Broncos' wide receiver Courtland Sutton is coming off a monster year. Although initially snubbed in the voting, Sutton was named to the Pro Bowl on Wednesday, per Ryan O'Halloran of the Denver Post. The team has since confirmed it. 

Sutton replaces Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins, who chose to bow out due to injury. As a first alternate, Sutton was the next in line to appear in the NFL's all-star game and now it'll show up on his NFL resume. 

Selected by the Broncos with the No. 40 overall pick in the second round of the 2018 draft out of SMU, Sutton became a starter as a rookie. In year two, however, he took a massive leap forward and he did so in the face of a tumultuous quarterback situation. 

Sutton finished 2019 with 72 receptions on 124 targets for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns. He finished the season ranked eighth in the AFC in receiving yards but was tied for second in the NFL with 16 big-play receptions (25-plus yards). That distinction represents the sixth-most such big-play catches in team annals and the most since Emmanuel Sanders' 16 back 2014. 

Considering that Sutton produced at such a level with the musical chairs at quarterback of a severely diminished Joe Flacco, followed by first-time NFL starter Brandon Allen, and then punctuated by rookie Drew Lock, his body of work in 2019 becomes that much more impressive. 

Sutton carried the Broncos offense at times last season. He took a big step toward becoming one of the NFL's true No. 1 wideouts. 

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In his two years with the Broncos, Sutton has recorded the most receiving yards (1,816) and touchdowns (10) through a player's first two seasons in franchise history. His 15.4 yards per reception among players with at least 50 catches ranked third in the AFC and 10th in the NFL last year. 

Sutton had two 100-yard receiving games in 2019, which, again, considering the Broncos' quarterback carousel, is an achievement. On top of his 113 receiving yards vs. the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11, he rushed for 10 yards and completed a 38-yard pass to account for 161 of Denver's 394 total yards (40.9%). 

The future is bright for the Broncos and Sutton. With a new offensive coordinator in Pat Shurmur and Lock entering his second year and first full season as 'the guy', expect Sutton to take his play to even greater heights. 

With Sutton making the Pro Bowl, the Broncos will now have two representatives at the all-star game, counting Von Miller, who was voted to his eighth career appearance. Safety Kareem Jackson and punt/kick returner Diontae Spencer were also named as Pro Bowl alternates and could join Sutton and Miller if someone ahead of them backs out. 

Justin Simmons was snubbed for the Pro Bowl but earned second-team All-Pro honors from the Associated Press. An honor commensurate with his performance in 2019. 

 Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen and @MileHighHuddle.

 

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