Hakeem Butler has the size, speed and physical skills to be a game-changer in the NFL. He's 6-5, blazed a 4.48 40-yard time at the combine, and more importantly, has the game film to support the idea that he's a first-round pick. The biggest concerns for NFL teams is that he struggles with concentration drops. 

College career

Butler redshirted the 2015 season at Iowa State. In 2016, he played in eight games and tallied nine catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns. A year later he improved to 41 catches, 697 yards and seven scores. And in 2018 Butler had 60 receptions for 1,318 yards and nine touchdowns. 

Among all FBS wide receivers, Butler ranked first in deep pass receptions and deep pass yards, according to Pro Football Focus,  and he was seventh in their yards per route run metric.

Combine/pro day results





227 pounds


35 1/4 inches


10 3/4 inches


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Strengths: Despite his size (6-foot-5), Butler shows good separation on comeback routes and the ability to put foot in ground and change direction like someone six inches shorter. He has great body control, and is able to adjust to underthrown balls and make touch catches. He can run inside, seam-busting routes from the slot and is a huge middle-of-the-field target who can make contested catches and is a YAC machine. He's a willing blocker who engages smaller defensive backs and doesn't let go.  

Weaknesses: Butler's biggest issue is consistency -- specifically, he struggles with drops; he had nine in 2017 and 12 last season.

NFL comparison

From CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Chris Trapasso:

Plaxico Burress. Outside of Randy Moss, Burress was the matchup nightmare during his time in the NFL at 6-foot-6 and 231 pounds with springy athleticism and a gigantic catch radius. That's the short scouting report on Butler too, and he might be even more dangerous when going after the football at its highest point. The former Iowa State star is a load to bring down after the catch, has experience running a variety of routes, and is bendier than you'd expect for his enormous frame. 

NFL teams in play to draft Butler

Bills: Buffalo loaded up on wide receivers during free agency and the No. 9 pick would be too early to draft butler, but if the team trades down he could make a lot of sense in the 20-32 range. 

Redskins: Washington needs a lot of help on offense. Case Keenum isn't the long-term answer at quarterback but he'll need somebody to throw to. Butler, who could be the first wideout on the board, could make sense at No. 15, assuming the team doesn't target a quarterback there. 

Giants: They traded Odell Beckham for the No. 17 pick, a third-rounder and Jabrill Peppers. If New York addresses quarterback or edge rusher with their No. 6 pick, the team could look for Beckham's replacement at no. 17 or the top of the second round.

Steelers: Who will step up in a post-Antonio Brown world? The team signed Donte Moncrief but that wouldn't preclude them from taking a player like Butler, who is a bona fide deep threat and would complement JuJu Smith-Schuster nicely.

Ravens: Baltimore's search for a legit No. 1 receiver continues. And while they're moving to a run-first offense with Lamar Jackson, he has proven capable of throwing the ball. Butler would give the Ravens the downfield playmaker this offense has lacked for years. 

Chiefs: Most of Kansas City's needs are on the defensive side of the ball, but depending on what happens with Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs could be in the market for another offensive weapon.