The Arizona Cardinals used the 103rd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to draft Hakeem Butler, a true outside receiver that most didn’t expect to fall to the fourth.
Most didn’t expect Hakeem Butler to fall all the way to the fourth round. In our mock drafts, we had Butler going to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 33 often and had him featured in multiple articles about second-round steals. Luckily, for the Cardinals, they get Butler at No. 103, which may be the steal of the draft.
Kliff Kingsbury targeted Butler for the same reason he targeted Kyler Murray and Andy Isabella; he wants the offense to vertical. The former Iowa State Cyclone is a perfect option to do just that, he’s simply built to stretch the field and make big-time catches.
Butler has both the height (6-foot-5) and the speed (4.45 second 40-yard-dash) to be both an effective field-stretcher and red zone target in the big leagues. The former Iowa State Cyclone is a headache to defend in contested catch situations due to that height, jump-ball ability (36-inch vertical), and good body control.
Butler’s ability to pluck the ball out of the air gives me flashes of Randy Moss, while his toe drag swag tendencies tend to receive DeAndre Hopkins vibes. He’s also improved his game after the catch as he uses his functional athleticism and length to deny defenders space. Against press coverage, he tends to use his length to his advantage but has an underrated ability to beat bigger more physical cornerbacks with developed footwork.
However, there are some apparent knocks to his game. His lack of quickness and fluidity in his breaks are evident, and it should result in him seeing a compacted route-tree that features mostly vertical routes. Per Pro Football Focus, his lower career catch rate of 57.6% and 17 drops are also concerning statistics.
But it’s hard not to love this pick at No. 103, personally, I believe this is the Cardinals best selection of the draft so far. Butler may be a “boom or bust” player, but there’s no arguing that he isn’t exactly what they needed. The Cardinals needed a true x-receiver on the roster, luckily, they got just that in Hakeem Butler 70 picks after where he could’ve gone.
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