Pros: Shows good ball skills and does a good job keeping things in front of him. Closes quickly on the ballcarrier in run support and is solid there. Has nice hitting power and can make the stop in the open field. Comes off the edge quickly and is a capable blitzer. Has good hands and is a capable kickoff returner.
Cons: Lacks ideal hips and struggles at times in man coverage due to lack of ideal burst or speed. Doesn't always show good instincts when jumping routes. Will get caught looking into the backfield too often at times.
Overview: Butler is a consistent player that gives you the same thing each week. He got hurt late in the year, but was able to come back for the bowl game and played well despite knowing he wasn't 100%. He works at wide receiver on offense at times, although he's probably not going to do much there at the next level. Willis McGahee is his cousin.
NFL Forecast: Butler is ideally a zone corner that would work very well in a Cover-2 scheme, where he could get deep help from the safety since his speed is lacking. He can play in man coverage, but I don't know if he has the speed or burst to really excel there. But in a zone-heavy scheme, he could really excel. He'll get a lot of love from coaches since he's probably one of the more polished corners as far as run support. At times, I just wonder if Butler is committed to being a top corner. He seemed to really relish his opportunities on offense and special teams, but he's not the next Deion Sanders, except maybe in his own head. If/when he discovers in the pros that teams want him to be a corner only, can he recommit those energies to defense. If he does, then he can be one of the better corners in the league. If not, then he'll just be an average starter.
ATL Forecast: Butler would be a good pickup for the Falcons. He should fit in the scheme because of the zone coverages and the safety help. He could help on special teams right away, as well as be a solid nickel back at the start. He could also potentially challenge for a starting job right away. And if players like Houston and Jackson don't step up their games accordingly, then Butler could be surpassing them within a year's time. He's a similar player as Jackson, but better. And that's the ideal mold for Falcons corners.
Value: Butler is a second round pick, but for a team that likes to use a lot of zone coverage, taking him late in the first round wouldn't be a huge reach. But he's definitely a Top 50 pick that would be a nice value in the mid-30s.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
MAN COVERAGE: 3.0
ZONE COVERAGE: 4.0
BALL SKILLS: 3.0
Scouting Reports of cornerbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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