Hakeem Butler 2019 NFL Draft Profile

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Hakeem Butler
SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMBER 28: Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Hakeem Butler #18 finds open space across the middle after a first half reception during the football game between the Iowa State Cyclones and the Washington State Cougars on December 28, 2018 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Overview
Position: Wide receiver
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 227 pounds
School: Iowa State Cyclones

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.48 seconds
Bench press: 18 reps
Vertical jump: 36 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 8 inches

Hakeem Butler 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Hakeem Butler is one of the underrated wide receivers in the upcoming NFL Draft. While he may not be of the level of D.K. Metcalf or Marquise Brown, Butler will provide value to teams looking to increase their depth at the wide receiver position.

As a junior at Iowa State, Butler caught 60 passes for a school-record 1,318 yards and nine touchdowns. He was an integral part of the Iowa State offense that went 8-5 last season, qualifying the school into the Alamo Bowl. In that game, Butler totaled 192 receiving yards and averaged 21.3 yards per reception.

Strengths

  • shows tremendous promise as a vertical receiver;
  • has shown an ability to have prolific build-up speed, bunching up the defensive coverage vertically;
  • knows how to be physical when the ball’s in his hands;
  • displays an innate ability to catch the ball off the forehead of defenders;
  • in tight spaces, he has the awareness and control to get a foot in bounds;
  • generates a lot of short yardage plays with his affinity towards curl routes;
  • his length makes him an asset as a blocker;
  • utilizes his hands and mobility to be physical with the cornerbacks.

Weaknesses

  • lateral agility is in need of improvement;
  • needs to get better at his footwork efficiency so he can run routes effectively without losing speed;
  • route-running technique is in need of refinement;
  • could do a better job at hitting quick routes with ease;
  • he often takes too long to reach maximum speed, causing defenders to easily block him from breaking into open space.

NFL Comparison: Mike Williams

Teams With Need at Position: Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins

Projection: Late first to early second round

Bottom Line

“Play him on the left side, you play him on the right side, you play him on the left slot, you play him on the right slot. He was one of the most productive slot receivers in this entire class,” says NBC Sports NFL Expert Josh Norris. “Not only was he productive in the slot, he actually led this class in 20-plus yard catches and 20-plus yard catch receiving yards. So he offers you the big play.”

What makes Butler special is his size and physicality. While he can improve on his overall speed, he makes up for it in his ability to make contested catches and blocking the secondary with ferocity. The 6’5″ wideout has the potential to turn into a special player in a few years, particularly when he gets more experience playing at the NFL level. Despite it being attractive to take a big-ticket receiver earlier on, the NFL franchise that claims Butler will soon reap the rewards with his on the field production.

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