NAME: Hakeem Butler
POSITION: Wide Receiver
SCHOOL: Iowa State
WEIGHT: 225 pounds
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After doing an abundance of defensive prospects, it’s time to look at our first offensive player profile for the Chiefs. All the talk has had the Chiefs going defense in Round One, but who knows, depending who is still on the board the Chiefs may elect to go with a promising receiver who believes he’s the best in the class. This receiver flashed in the Big 12 in 2018, now let’s look at his attributes.
Butler will be just fine when cutting into the middle of the field in front of cornerback’s faces. But when running outside of defenders, Butler seems to be less consistent in beating defenders. Most of the time he’ll beat them on vertical routes, but intermediate or comeback routes on the outside are inconsistent. Sometimes, Butler slows down at the top of route trees. This can lead to off throws by the quarterback because they’re unsure of him either slowing down on a route or overrunning it.
Butler’s large frame helps him to go up and get the ball at the catch point. His jumps can be a tad off in timing, but when well-timed, he makes some tough contested catches. There’s an evident plan to his game to position himself in order to win in contested situations. As long as his plan works, Butler’s ability to pluck difficult catches out of the air makes for defenders looking easily defeated.
While Butler can make the difficult catches look easy at times, the easier ones look to be his biggest struggle. This is the area of Butler’s game that I think will need to develop the most at the NFL level. Sometimes he will not even use his hands. There are times where Butler will let the ball travel into him too far, too often. It’s just confusing how Butler seems to alter his hands at different times throughout the duration of a game.
Butler’s physicality and overall strength allow him to dominate defenders due to his larger size. His short area quickness helps to beat defenders deep. Butler also has the ability to make it game over and get open if he executes with his arm length and hands. There are times where Butler uses too much fakes and stutters at the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped though. It’s just awkward at times, and not as effective as using his physical prowess.
While his fakes can be awkward, Butler puts a lot of detail and planning into how he separates and breaks at the top of routes. Again, as long as he uses his physicality and speed in separating, he’s golden. The NFL level will help him realize that he can’t take too much time to be choppy with his feet or fakes.
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Elite speed, both in short area quickness and long speed. He’s a vertical threat both in the slot and on the outside. Again his play speed at the top of routes could be ramped up, but once Butler’s in the open field he could be gone.
Run After Catch
It’s beyond belief how easily Butler can throw people off of him in open space once a catch is secured. His physical dominance and competitiveness with the ball in his hands force defenses to need at least three or four defenders to bring him down in space. His open-field vision and mobility is rare and precise.
Butler is well planned in this attribute as well. His length and strength in his hands put him above other receivers in this area. Butler also plays through to the whistle when blocking, and this was huge with a home run hitting running back at Iowa State.
Like I mentioned in Mock Draft 2.0, the Chief’s depth chart has a need due to inexperience at the bottom. They can line Butler up both in the slot or outside, as he has experience in both spots. With his dominance with the ball in his hands, just put him with Patrick Mahomes and let him throw it up where only Butler can get it. Butler is still not the most polished receiver in the class and will need to develop. But the production, intriguing skillset and promising flashes are all there for him to become a top receiver early on. I really feel if the Chiefs go offensive selection in Round One, Butler is an exciting addition to an already scary offense.
Thank you for reading. Be sure to check out Full Press Coverage for all of your NFL draft needs.