Rookie Projections: Deon Butler

It is quite obvious that the front office was interested in wide receiver Deon Butler. They were so intrigued by Butler that they felt it necessary to trade back into the third round to select him. Seattle paid a high price to obtain Butler; Philadelphia received a 2010 third-round pick, plus fifth- and seventh-round picks in the 2009 draft from Seattle as compensation.

The draft pick obtained from Philadelphia was obviously used to select wide receiver Deon Butler, but why? Why was Seattle so interested in Butler, an undersized, yet productive, wide receiver from Penn State? Why did they feel it necessary to trade back up after a quick run on wide receivers in the third round? Was Butler a guy they’d been targeting entering the second day of the draft?

The more I read about Deon Butler, the more I like him. And the more I understand why the organization was so high on him entering the draft.

Despite Butler’s size, I think he has a very good skill-set and possesses the intangibles necessary to have long-term success in the NFL. He may stand barely 5’10”, but he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, fourth-best among wide receivers. He may only weigh 182 pounds, but he makes up for it with precise routes and soft hands. He may have been a walk-on at Penn State, but he finished he collegiate career with his name all over the school’s record books.

Alright that was a little repetitious. But it all forecasts good things for the Seahawks, who were a bit deprived at the wide receiver position last season.

I think that Butler has the ability to develop into a very good slot receiver in the National Football League. He may not possess adequate size, as mentioned earlier, but this guy can play football.

Butler demonstrates excellent quickness and speed, and shows a good initial burst off the line. His long arms allow him to make some receptions that don’t immediately look catchable, even when challenged by larger defenders. His weakness is obviously his smaller physique, but Butler plays bigger while on the field.

The Seahawks have a plethora of wide receivers on the roster – all healthy, for now – and Butler will have to perform well in training camp to secure playing time this season. Everything has been good so far; apparently, offensive coordinator Greg Knapp repeatedly called on the rookie during off-season meetings earlier this year, and Butler held his own.

I don’t foresee Butler receiving a lot of playing time this year, but he’ll definitely get on the field some. Assuming, God forbid, that Seattle doesn’t endure a rash of injuries like last season, Butler will be competing for playing time.

It is possible that Butler makes his first impact on special teams as a returner, but we’ll see how things shake out in training camp. For now, I’ll limit my projections for Butler as a wide receiver.

His statistics this season won’t blow anyone away at first glance, but I think he will make an impact on a couple of plays. Whether it is a deep pass for a long gain, or sneaking into the end zone for a touchdown, Butler will make a play or two this season.

PROJECTED STATISTICS:

Games Played:            16

Games Started:           0

Receptions:                 19

Yards:                        207

Average:                    10.9

Long:                          35

Touchdowns:               2

Topics: 40 Yard Dash, Bobby Engram, Deon Butler, Greg Knapp, Kick Return, National Football League, NFL Draft, Penn State, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Slot Receiver, Special Teams, Statistics, Tim Ruskell, Undersized, Wide Receiver

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