Georgia Tech Senior
40: 4.45 (estimated)
Has good size, athleticism, and speed. Is capable of running with receivers and flashes the speed to make up fro mistakes. Shows some ball skills when playing the deep ball or trying to undercut a route. Shows some ability to get the jam in press coverage. Shows some ability to break down in run support and cut a back's legs. Shows nice burst upfield to defend the screen or play on the edge.
Doesn't play with great awareness, discipline, technique or footwork. Doesn't seem to be often in position to make a play. Can get turned around in coverage. Has decent hips, but doesn't have good burst out of his breaks. Needs to improve his footwork, and comes out high out of his backpedal. Because of his sloppy footwork and technique, he struggles to defend comebacks and crossing routes. Will draw some penalties. Can bite on play fakes, and give up the big play. Is tentative in run support, especially at the point of attack. Ducks his head and doesn't initiate contact, making him a poor tackler.
An athletic defender that is just too undisciplined to really like his chances at the next level. A three-year starter at Georgia Tech that wasn't super productive. In 39 starts, he recorded only 4 interceptions and 12 pass breakups.
Butler needs a lot of polish in terms of his footwork and technique. And if he can make improvements there, then he has a chance to compete as a competent starter. But he lacks the ball skills and awareness to really like his chances to improve in those areas, and even if he did, he would still be limited. He has the athleticism, size, and speed to match up in man coverage, but he's not going to stop anybody. His best hope is to stick as a reserve, and then eventually work his way into the nickel role. Then if he shows enough promise there by his third or fourth season, some team might be able to take a chance on him as a No. 2 starter. But he's most likely to spend his career as a reserve, and struggle at least early on when he does get opportunities. If he can't come in and contribute immediately on special teams, he'll be hard-pressed to stick in the league.
The best that the Falcons could hope Butler becomes is another Chris Houston on the outside. He can add depth as a No. 4 corner and potentially compete and beat out the likes of Chris Owens and Dominique Franks in that role. But he isn't really an upgrade, just a guy that is going to replace those guys. Similarly, he would probably struggle if asked to play a significant role on defense. And he's not a good option to compete as a slot corner for the Falcons because his limited footwork, technique, and awareness.
He is a nice late round pick. The earliest he could go off the board is probably in the late fourth round for a team desperate for some depth at corner and willing to take a flyer on a guy that is a bit of a project like Butler. But he's probably a player that should be drafted in the fifth or sixth round. He can compete right away and stick as a fourth corner, and has the upside to develop as a nickel or starter a few years down the line. But doesn't possess quite the tools to make you believe that will likely be the case.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Man Coverage: 3.0
Zone Coverage: 2.5
Ball Skills: 2.0
Scouting reports of the cornerbacks in the 2011 Draft.
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