2019 NFL Draft Prospect Report: Hakeem Butler
Name: Hakeem Butler
School: Iowa State
Listed Height: 6’5
Listed Weight: 227
Strengths: Butler has an atypical body type with arm, leg, and torso length that gives him a decisive advantage on jump balls. He can be dominant at the catch point due to his radius. and shows that he can make outside his frame catches. Displays body control and ball skills to make in-air adjustments on the ball, and he can isolate defenders away from throws in the end zone. Butler uses his length and hand moves to open passing windows, while having solid initial burst with good release work at the LOS. He is aware of how to separate even with his speed deficiencies, and is able to read hip directions well, snap off of routes hard, and angle his breaks to exploit open hipped CBs and blind spots. He flashes that he can uncover with sudden lateral cuts and direct steps, as well as route adjustments based off of spacings and different coverage identifications. Subtly sets up DBs in his routes and disguises lateral cuts with a quiet upper body. He adjusts his route depth based off indicators such as how far the CB is in bail/pedal and will plant and open rapidly towards the QB. He can alter his speed to stop/slow down the CB’s feet to clean his breaks. He uses an arm-over move to clear his frame and allow himself to accelerate and stack/separate vertically. Shows some YAC ability that comes from his agility and contact balance. Butler is willing to get his hands dirty as a blocker on the perimeter and in space.
Weaknesses: Butler does not possess high level separation speed to challenge man coverage vertically and lacks much thickness in his frame. He shows minimal sink ability into his breaks which slows down his COD speed and fluidity. He can have some ball control issues as a pass catcher, as he suffers from drops and body catches. Points show up on tape where he doesn't step up and combat an undercutting defender.
Overview and Insights: Butler is gifted with length and high point skills that will make him a premier threat on 50/50 balls when he gets into the league. With proper development, he can become a number 2 WR who will create matchup issues. Butler could offer good production in the league if he works on his catching technique.
Round Projection: 1st-2nd Round
Ideal Fits: Jets, Bills, Dolphins, Jaguars
Pro Comparison: Plaxico Burress
Scout: Taylor Moser