Emmanuel Butler, WR
School: Northern Arizona | Conference: Big Sky
College Experience: RS-Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 217lbs
Projected Draft Status: 5th - 7th round
NFL Comparison: Mack Hollins
Emmanuel Butler was a tight end coming out of high school and was considered too small to play TE and too slow to play WR at the FBS level. He ended up at FCS Northern Arizona where he dominated the Big Sky Conference. In his breakout sophomore season, he caught for 1,208 yards and 15 TDs (2nd most in the FCS). He was named 1st team All-Big Sky and 2nd team All-American. Butler followed that up with another 1st team All-Big Sky junior year with 1,008 yards and 9 TDs. He was considered one of the top players to watch in the FCS going into his senior season, but was sidelined for the year with a shoulder injury in the second game. He received a medical red-shirt and returned in 2018 to catch for 676 yards and 7 TDs over 8 games.
Butler is a big receiver and a natural hands catcher. He knows how to use his big body and length to his advantage and is excellent at high pointing the ball. Scouts were impressed with his week of practice at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, where he caught 3 passes for 46 yards. He did not run at the combine, so it will be interesting to see what his 40 time is at his pro day. Butler’s got an underdog mentality and could be a great late round sleeper.
- Hands. Butler has soft hands and knows how to extend to snatch the ball out of the air.
- Size. He has the ideal size for a big body, NFL wide receiver.
- Aggressiveness for the ball. He can win 1-on-1 battles and knows how to go up and fight for the ball. Uses his size and length to his advantage
- Agility. Hes surprisingly agile for a guy of his size. Can make a man miss.
- Intangibles. Butler is known as a high character guy and a strong team leader.
- Speed. While he does have a good, long stride, he does not appear to have great straight away speed.
- Separation. Had trouble separating in press coverage.
- Injuries. Missed the 2017 season with a shoulder injury he needed surgery on and missed 2 games in 2018 with a rib injury.
- Competition level. As is the knock with most FCS or below players.
Emmanuel Butler’s (@EBUTT08) circus grab also made the #SCtop10 cut coming in at no. 2. I still don’t know how he caught this. #NAUvsUTEP @NAU_Football @CaptainCookus10 pic.twitter.com/aTKnnNR7c1— Andy Morgan (@AndyMorganTV) September 2, 2018
How He’d Fit on the Redskins
The Redskins have a lot of needs and wide receiver is right near the top of that list. However if the front office decides to address the quarterback position and/or take advantage of the high defensive talent early in this draft, they could be looking for a late round steal to add depth to the WR position. Butler could be that guy to take a shot on in the 6th or 7th round. I have always been a fan of taking a shot on small school guys in the late rounds, as they have a lot to prove and tend to come in with an underdog mentality (which Butler has already expressed). The lack of competition leaves a lot unknown, but you can’t deny Butler’s physical attributes. His big body and ability to go up and get the ball could make him a valuable redzone threat for an offense. That same big body and underdog mentality could also show some value on special teams.