2017 NFL Draft
Prospect: Jake Butt
Prospect: Jake Butt
Ht: 6'-6" Wt: 250
Position #1: TE
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Tight end is certainly one of the tougher positions to project to the NFL based on the use of spread offenses in the college game. Fortunately for Butt, he plays in a system that asks him to play more of a traditional role. He often lines up next to the tackle, which paints a more projectable picture for scouts. He has a prototypical combination of size and athleticism for the position and that allows him to factor into the running game, as much as the passing game.
Still, I wouldn't classify Butt as a finished product when it comes to playing in that traditional role. As a blocker, he is very raw. There are times when he displays a descent punch and gets his hands inside, but more often he doesn't get locked onto a defender. He needs to add strength in his upper body in order to display a stronger punch that jars the defender. He also needs to get stronger in his lower half so he can drive defenders off the ball. The only time he truly shoves anyone backward is when he gets his hands on a defensive back in the box. Playing with a lower center of gravity is another area he needs to improve as a blocker. Too often he gets to the second level too high and ends up lunging at a defender that is lower than him. This usually results in the defender getting right past him.
As a receiver, the added strength will help him in his routes more than anything. He usually gets an easy release and good separation. Still, when stronger players hand-fight with him down the field, it can affect him. He needs to be able to knock hands off of him during his route. Outside of that, he is pretty gifted as a receiver. He is ahead of most college tight ends in the amount of routes he can run effectively. He separates well and extends his hands to the ball routinely.
He is also adept at using his body to shield off defenders. He is fearless over the middle. He often sits his route down in tight windows and is willing to take a shot after securing the reception. These kind of skills make him an ideal third-down target. He also has experience moving around the formation. If there was one place I haven't seen him lineup, it is as a lead blocker in the backfield. It isn't something that is required but with some teams refusing to carry a true fullback, a tight end that can lead block is a bonus.
Overall, most tight ends that enter the NFL are like putty. Teams have to mold them into the player they want because they rarely learn those skills in college. In Butt's case, he is far from a finished product, but he is also further along than most of his peers. Another year under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan could see himself separate even further from the other tight ends in this upcoming class.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Zach Ertz (Eagles), Greg Olsen (Panthers)
- Strong, reliable hands
- Tough over the middle
- Prototypical size and athleticism
- Runs an advanced route tree
- Separates well
- Needs to get stronger
- Raw as a blocker
- Gets caught playing too high
1)   Michigan Football: Opponents Should Fear Jake Butt   - GBM Wolverine |
2)   Michigan TE Jake Butt talks about a national title   - Detroit Free Press |
Michigan has depth, versatility at TE, led by Jake Butt   - The Detroit News |
4)   Jake Butt Twitter|
5)   Jake Butt Instagram|