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Washington is in dire need of a #1 feature receiver. Is Hakeem Butler the answer?

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A receiver with rare height and a penchant for big plays could help solve Washington’s passing woes.

NCAA Football: Alamo Bowl-Iowa State vs Washington State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Hakeem Butler, WR
School: Iowa State | Conference: Big 12
College Experience: RS Junior | Age: 22 (23 at the start of 2019 season)
Height/Weight: 6-6 / 225 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round
Player Comparison: Better Stephen Hill/Discount Randy Moss

College Statistics

Player Overview

The go-to receiver for Iowa State Cyclones, Hakeem Butler had a career season in his junior year. He has the body and size that scream #1 receiver. He has the traits of a playmaking receiver running mostly vertical routes and often targeted in the redzone. He finished this past season accumulating over 1,300 receiving yards and 9 TDs in 60 catches. This is in an offense that was focused behind top running back prospect David Montgomery and led by rookie quarterback Brock Purdy under center. Listed as 6 feet and 6 inches and 225 pounds, Butler possesses unfair size at the receiver position. The Baltimore native is a willing run blocker often using his wingspan to keep secondary defenders at bay. Hakeem’s measurables makes him an easy gamble in the early rounds by scouts and GMs that are enamored by his potential. With a great showing at the combine, he could easily hear his name called in the first round.

Strengths

  • Penchant for big plays. Over 22 yards per reception.
  • Polished route runner
  • Willing run blocker
  • Has shown to make good catches at the edges of the side line.
  • Can track the ball on deep throws
  • Able to get consistent separation
  • Best routes: Deep and comeback
  • Tough to bring down after the catch
  • Can get separation on routes through length

Weaknesses

  • Occasionally loses the ball in route.
  • Not the shiftiest receiver (likely due to size)
  • Occasionally misses catches when the ball is thrown overhead.
  • Can be prone to not attacking routes
  • Didn’t run a lot of short/intermediate crossing routes (film maybe)

Wow Moments

How Would He Fit On The Redskins

The passing offense was underwhelming for a multitude of reasons. With Crowder hitting the free agency market, Richardson and Quinn injured for most of the season, and Doctson with an up-and-down, the Skins would benefit from adding another young playmaker to their squad. What Butler would bring is an unfair size that would be trouble for most secondary players in a one-on-one matchup. While not a burner, he gets decent separation from defenders and is a big target for Smith (or whomever behind center) to throw to. If Gruden wants to encourage more downfield throws, having a target like Butler helps tremendously. While he’s not the shiftiest of receivers, Washington can benefit throwing downfield more often to compliment the running game. Butler has the potential to be the feature Randy Moss-like receiver Washington desperately.