Born: May 16th, 1996 (22 years old)
Weight: 227 Lbs
Position: Wide Receiver
University: Iowa State
One of the most under the radar prospects this year is Hakeem Butler, from Iowa State. Butler is a redshirt junior, but didn’t truly break out until his finally season as a Cyclone. In his first 21 games, he caught 50 balls for 831 yards, and 9 touchdowns. Last season, Hakeem caught 60 passes for 1,318 yards and 9 touchdowns alone. That is 22 yards a catch, which just narrowly puts him at third, right behind Emmanuel Hall at 22.3. His life wasn’t always easy though. He grew up in a very rough neighborhood, and had his father walk out on his life at a very young age. Hakeem was forced to move from Baltimore Maryland, to Fort Bend Texas after losing his mother to cancer. He moved in with his cousin’s, who just happen to be former UK basketball stars Andrew and Aaron Harrison. To Hakeem though, they might as well be brothers, and credits his time with them as helping him become the player he is today. A true story of starting from the bottom, overcoming the worst, and using it to propel yourself to greatness.
Strengths & Weaknesses
You can’t get much more bigger of a target than Hakeem Butler. His extremely long frame, wide shoulders and long arms create such a large catching radius for himself. At 6’6 he is able to high point the ball very easily. Is not afraid of run blocking. Uses his long arms to not just break away pressing corners, but is also a willing run blocker when call upon. A lot of his big plays that made me say “wow” was when he was lined up as the slot receiver.
Hakeem is still a pretty raw talent, and might take a little time to catch fire with an offense. He could still use work on his route running skills, though I dont believe that will be too much of his game at the next level. There are plenty of times that Butler would take his eyes off the ball before securing it to run.
NFL Draft Projection/NFL Comp
NFL Draft Projection
Hakeem Butler is a very interest pick because this wide receiver class is so diverse. You don’t necessarily have to take a project receiver like Butler early, which might cause him to slip to the 2nd round. I think by the time the Jaguars are selecting at 39th, you will see him taken off the board. Giving Nick Foles a giant target like this to pair with a possible Marqise Lee would do dividends for their offense.
Butler is in a league of his own, as there just aren’t many receivers with a complete skill set like his. I believe him and A.J. Green have a lot of the same pros, and would have to be my best NFL comparison for him. They both are big body receivers that can line up anywhere on the field, and be a menace in the slot. Like we have seen plenty of in the NFL from A.J. Green, Butler can win over mostly any defensive back he faces. I can’t wait to see how this walking mismatch is used in the NFL.