Vernon Butler, DT
School: Louisiana Tech | Conference: C-USA
College Experience: Senior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 325 lbs
Projected: Early 2nd Round | Actual: 1st Round (Pick 30) by the Carolina Panthers
Vernon Butler has the power and quickness to play and make an impact in the NFL for a long time. For such a big guy he has crazy nimble feet that are always working to clog up a running lane or to rush the passer. He has terrific initial burst and quickness (his best trait for being so large). He embarrasses offensive linemen before they can get out of their stance sometimes. He also has the power to push through linemen. He played in Louisiana Tech's hybrid front and has experience playing as a 2-Tech DT and a 3-Tech DE. He has a few fundamental and mental flaws but if he can develop and improve Butler has the potential to become and elite defensive lineman in the NFL.
Rookie Vernon Butler showing quick progression in training camp https://t.co/hfPAFmnusb— ThePanthersWire (@ThePanthersWire) August 8, 2016
How He Makes the Panthers Better and Creates Problems for the Redskins
It’s relatively safe to say Vernon Butler is Carolina’s DT of the future. The Panthers have demonstrated they are not willing to give huge sums money to impact players when they released Josh Norman. They have a similar situation coming up with star DT Kawaan Short. Short is headed for free agency after this season and if the Panthers aren’t interested in keeping him they had a back up plan when they selected Butler in the 1st round.
Butler is extremely athletic and can get after the passer. He won’t crack the starting lineup this year of Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short but he should see a decent amount of snaps when one of those guys needs to be spelled. The Redskins already face a challenge with the state of their interior line against the Panthers without Butler. With Butler in the game it won’t get much easier for the Skins.