WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa St.*

6’5” – 227 lbs. – 4.48
Redshirted, then appeared in eleven games the following season, posting 9-134-2. After going 41-697-7 as a sophomore, enjoyed a breakout junior year of 60-1,318-9 before deciding to declare for the draft. Has overcome a lot to get to this point, with a heartbreaking personal story. Lives with his cousins, NBA players Andrew and Aaron Harrison; father left his family and mother died of breast cancer in 2012. Two-star recruit with five-star size and length (arms measured over 35” in Indianapolis). Lines up both inside and outside for the Cyclones, but projects as a split end at the pro level. Not one of the most active players at the line of scrimmage, struggling to release at the of scrimmage against press coverage, especially given his size. Runs a lot of deep ins, curls, and comebacks, most of his patterns coming at the intermediate level; also runs some crosses over the middle of the field. Tends to round off his routes; not much snap when he breaks over the middle of the field on his in patterns and posts, limiting his ability to separate against man. Consequently, tends to do most of his work on timing-based/anticipatory throws, rather than allowing the quarterback to see him get open; ball needs to be out before he’s gone through his break. May have been playing in an offense which didn’t allow him to break off routes against zone, but ran himself into coverage too often rather than finding a soft spot to settle into. Exhibits good awareness and balance/body control when working the sidelines; made some magic happen on back-shoulder throws. Flexible receiver with a very wide catch radius but seemed to struggle with focus drops; also doesn’t dominate at the catch point in traffic like you’d hope a receiver with his size would. Needs to be more aggressive and work back to attack the ball. Had some outstanding snaps as a blocker and some relatively disinterested ones; drove an Iowa defender off the screen with a stalk-block, but on other plays looks content to issue a perfunctory push and call it a play. Could develop into a mismatch at the pro level and shows the ability to create on comebacks and back-shoulder throws, but there are so many inconsistencies in his game that it’s easy to wonder whether he should have returned to school to improve his technique, route-running, and feel. Also need to see more physicality and aggression; has the physical tools to assert his will, but puts too many snaps on tape where he looks like a grass-eater.

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