NAME: Hakeem Butler
SCHOOL: Iowa State
CONFERENCE: Big 12
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 18
RECRUITMENT RATING: 2-star
WT: 225 lbs
PROS: Impossible long frame. Wide shoulders with Inspector Gadget arms and strong hands away from his body. Big strides that can eat up ground in a hurry, offering deceptive burst off the line of scrimmage and through route breaks. Has an accordingly large catch radius and addresses the ball well in the air, with over-the-shoulder, back-shoulder, and high-point catches all present on tape. Does well to box out early in downfield reps with a nice willingness to bring physicality and play bully ball.
Surprisingly effective YAC player despite moderate change of direction ability and upright frame. Has some excellent lower body strength to drag would-be tacklers forward; thinner torso and hips absorb blows across the middle of the field surprisingly well. Cannot be addressed with arm tackles and often requires multiple secondary players to rally to the football. Excellent third down target because of willingness to fight for the line to gain.
Stellar blocker downfield who takes his job seriously. Clearly a high-energy player.
CONS: While explosive and strong, not particularly agile in part because of high-waisted frame. Route tree was more diverse in 2017, in which slot reps were more prevalent — is a bit limited to the vertical tree as an outside receiver for the Cyclones. Accordingly, does not have much deception laced in his route stems. Has head fakes but lacks the quickness out of them to really separate; mostly wins leverage and creates a throwing window, but will need to continue being successful through contact at the NFL level.
Will sometimes allow ball to eat up his frame instead of catching with natural technique, though this seems to be more of a situational/judgment issue rather than a laziness/technique issue. Finer points of wide receiver play will likely come with time, as NFL play limits his current ability to bully everyone with size.
– Benjamin Solak