Position: Defensive/Nose Tackle
Weight: 323 lbs
School: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Vernon Butler 2016 NFL Draft Profile
During his senior year in Ruston, Butler anchored a Bulldog defense that finished 13th nationally in rushing yards allowed and 27th in team tackles for a loss. Butler finished the season with 50 tackles, ten pass deflections, three sacks & pass deflections. He was rewarded by being named All-Conference USA.
Recruited out of North Pike High School, Butler lettered in football, basketball, and track. A breakout senior year is part of a trend with Butler. In his senior year as a Jaguar, Butler claimed all-state, district, and area honors after recording 101 tackles and 11 sacks.
In a draft class deep at the defensive tackle position, Butler was able to raise his stock tremendously at Louisiana Tech’s pro-day.
Butler used the opportunity to improve on his combine numbers, recording a 5.05 40-time and 33.5″ vertical jump, compared to the 5.33 40-time and 29.5″ vertical jump he recorded in Indianapolis.
“I knew at the combine those weren’t my real numbers. I just got back in with (strength and conditioning) coach (Kurt) Hester and got back to work. It was a pretty successful day.” -Butler on improving his numbers from this year’s combine.
Butler was able to do just that as coaches and scouts remarked that he had just made himself “a lot of money.”
- long arms, strong hands for shedding off blocks.
- combination of speed and power that is highly effective in the pass rush.
- highly athletic for his size.
- gives consistent effort on plays.
- ability to take on double teams.
- Sometimes plays with too high a pad level.
- Wastes energy by trying to out muscle blockers instead of using counter-moves.
NFL Comparison: Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets
Teams with need at position: New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, Dallas Cowboys
Projection: late first round, but stock is rising.
The few weaknesses Butler has can easily be corrected with coaching, leaving only his strengths which are much coveted in the pass oriented league. Butler worked hard to improve his combine numbers and it paid off during his pro day. That type of dedication to get better shows a strong sense of character and pride that could make the difference in not only his draft slot on draft day, but in his career as well.