PFF scouting report: Vernon Butler, DE, Louisiana Tech

Steve Palazzolo and the PFF draft analysts break down the play of Vernon Butler ahead of the NFL draft.

| 8 months ago
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

PFF scouting report: Vernon Butler, DE, Louisiana Tech


Below is the PFF draft profile for Louisiana Tech’s Vernon Butler, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.

Position fit:

3-4 defensive end

Stats to know:

Ranked 19th in the nation against the run in 2014 and fifth in 2015

What he does best:

• Powerful bull rush, made up 20 percent of his pressures
• Can get under blockers and blow up point of attack
• Will beat blocks with quickness, but excels using strong hands and length to keep blockers away
• Disruptive run defender when winning on first contact
• Good athleticism getting down the line of scrimmage and making plays in the run game
• Will play low when shooting gaps, can disrupt plays in the backfield

Biggest concern:

• Not always looking to anchor, can lose his gap in run game
• Struggles to shed and find ball when losing on initial contact
• Sealed by both single and double teams more often than others in the class
• Doesn’t play like his listed 325 pounds
• Only one good year of productivity as a pass rusher, may be limited at next level

Player Comparison:

Carl Davis, Baltimore Ravens. Both Davis and Butler have similar frames and both players played quite a bit of nose tackle in college. Like Davis, Butler will likely have to transition away from playing over the center into more of a 3-4 defensive end role where the expectation will be to play the run first while any pass rush will be an added bonus.

Bottom line:

Butler has the tools to be a good NFL run defender, most likely as a 3-4 defensive end. While he’s listed at 325 pounds, he doesn’t play like a prototypical nose tackle as his game is more about length disruption than anchoring down at the line of scrimmage.

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