During the Senior Bowl, Vernon Butler received heaps of praise as he dominated his one-on-one matchups showing power and length. One play in particular had commentators salivating.
This is an excellent press lockout to disengage from the right guard. It must be noted, however, that former Alabama QB Jake Coker will be a third day pick as he shows horrid pocket awareness and can’t read the defense to determine it’s Cover 1 Man. Additionally, the right guard was Connor McGovern, from Missouri, who is seen as a third day prospect as well.
Butler does have a good bull rush when he uses his length to control the blocker. All three of these plays show Butler’s extension, with the first showing an excellent stab-and-grab to nullify the block by the right guard. With the other two showing excellent backfield push using his long arms to attack the shoulder pads of the blocker.
Butler doesn’t possess a variety of pass rush moves, but his swim move was relatively effective to gain instant penetration in one-gap situations.
Like in any of my other scouting reports, the swim move should be used sparingly as it has the potential for you to be punished by an intelligent blocker. All a blocker has to do is get a good jab on your chest plate like in the play below.
Butler’s pass rush suffers when he doesn’t disengage early enough. He shows flashes of having the ability, but a lack of consistency makes me hesitant especially considering the quality of opponents.
Additionally, his pass rush suffers, when he doesn’t mentally prepare his pass rush in advance. This is an excellent example of that aspect as he dances around the right guard not even attempting to penetrate.
At Louisianna Tech, Butler was definitely misused. The defensive coordinator consitently put him out-of-position, especially on stunts as the looper. He ran these way too casually for it to be effective.
Technique coaching will be crucial for Butler’s development in the NFL. He has the size and length to be effective, but his success will be directly the result of his ability to accept coaching at the next level. In my opinion, perfecting his arm extension and bull rush should be the starting point.