Deon Butler is the second most purely talented player from Seattle's draft class. Today, Seattle signed him to a 4-year contract worth up to $3.2 million. The Seahawks hope Butler earns every penny. As a skill position player with excellent deep speed, he's also the second most exciting*. Butler embodies many of the traits associated with a mid-round wide receiver. He has a couple excellent skills: Short and mid-range route running. A handful of good but not NFL ready skills: Deep route running, hands and run blocking. And a mixed bag of tools: Excellent speed, good agility, good leg drive, average leaping, slight build and little potential to physically box out defenders.
I did a pretty extensive series on Butler that can be found here.
This an excerpt from my final grade:
Butler looks like a good prospect. There's a lot to like about his athleticism and there's a good foundation of skills. He needs to develop. He needs to develop in one of two ways to make it in the NFL. He needs to develop in both to be good.
Butler needs to refine his route-running, put some edge into his cuts and some deception into his lead-in. The problem with bubbling left to cut right is the bubble left eliminates almost any cut but the cut right. It puts him out of position for a double move. It would be a deliberate and maybe disastrous lead-in to a curl. It wastes motion and is an illogical lead-in to a post. It telegraphs "in" and gives the defender time to react.
He needs a better read and to make more routine catches and less stumbling, tumbling cool because it's college highlight-reel catches.
*Aaron Curry being liquid sex and all things to all men, and some women too.