In his first mock draft after the NFL Combine, CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco believes the Redskins will take Vernon Butler with the No. 21-overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
With so many defensive linemen linked to the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and the Washington Redskins needing youthful help in the trenches, mock drafts continue to have the team taking either a defensive end or defensive tackle with the No. 21 pick.
In his most recent mock draft, CBSSports.com’s Pete Prisco believes the Redskins will pick Louisiana Tech’s Vernon Butler.
“He is a power player with quickness and speed. The Redskins might be losing several players up front, so it’s a need. Even if they don’t, you can never have enough inside guys who can get up the field,” Prisco writes.
Butler appeared in 49 games during his four years at Louisiana Tech, recording 170 tackles (29.5 for loss) along with five sacks, three passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and one fumble forced.
During his senior season in 2015, Butler earned All-Conference USA first-team honors after he totaled 50 tackles (10 for loss) along with eight quarterback hurries and a sack.
As a junior in 2014, the Summit, Miss., native tallied 56 tackles with 13.5 tackles for loss.
Butler got his first start during the 2013 season, as he recorded six tackles in a game against Lamar on Sept. 7.
He participated in January’s Senior Bowl, as he registered a strip-sack on Alabama quarterback Jake Coker in the first quarter of the game.
According to his NFL.com draft profile, Butler is a “long-armed knee-bender who can play the role of low man at the point of attack.”
“Plays with strong hands and good arm extension and can “peekaboo” both gaps as he reads which hole the running back heads for. Impressive stack and shed timing and power. Able to eat up double teams and keep his linebackers clean when asked to. Excellent athleticism. Can make plays all along the line of scrimmage. If blocker doesn’t finish, Butler will work himself back into the play. Able to coordinate hands and feet smoothly and has change of direction and closing burst to become a dominant pass rusher from inside. Can slide from gap to gap as a pass rusher and is a perfect fit for twist-based defense. Generally attacks gaps with forward lean and ability to corner the edge when he has his man beat. Can stutter-step into pass rush to disrupt offensive lineman’s timing or generate a speed-to-power bull rush that can severely dent a pocket. Gives consistent effort and plays like a lead dog looking to eat,” his profile states.
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein believes Butler is a lot like two-time second-team All-Pro Muhammed Wilkerson.
In six seasons with the New York Jets, Wilkerson has amassed 301 tackles with 36.5 sacks, 21 passes defensed and nine fumbles forced.