The junior tight end brokeout for the Michigan Wolverines in 2015 and proved to be the gel that sustained the cohesiveness on the Wolverines offense. He made the decision to stay at school for his senior season in hopes of winning a championship for Jim Harbaugh. Butt emerged as one of the best pure receiving TEs in this year’s draft class, but we need to see more from him as a blocker if he wants to solidify his early draft grade. He will be a pivotal piece for the Wolverines in 2016 as they look to make their College Football Playoff debut.
Name: Jake Butt
Projection: 2nd Round
Comparison: Chad Lewis
Background: Ohio native. Four-star recruit according to Rivals. Sociology major. Started 8 games as a freshman. Tore his ACL in winter practice. Missed two games and started 5 as a sophomore. Started 11 of 13 games as a junior.
Positives: Has the height and arm length you want with requisite hand size. Good foot quickness for his size and his speed in the open field is solid. Generally shows strong hands and makes difficult catches in a crowd. When the route dies he actively works to find a zone to help his QB. Has a good understanding of the short and intermediate passing game. Ahead of schedule in the route-running department and sets up defensive backs. Shows a cocky side on the field and as he develops confidence will be a thorn in the paw of division rival fans in the NFL. Quit soccer in middle school and researched NFL receiver training methods which he and his dad worked on together. Confident. Strong work ethic.
Negatives: Odd body with short legs. Long neck with a very big head. Very small shoulders and narrow torso. Does not have the body type that will be able to pack much more weight on. Not a great athlete who will get a lot of separation. Not explosive or particularly impressive after the catch. Still a work in progress as a blocker. Looks disinterested and somewhat soft at times. Doesn’t hold his blocks for long allowing his guy to make plays on the ball. Lets defenders get their hands in his chest which gets him turned and eating turf. Taken off the field on power run plays.
Outlook: Jake Butt is a bit of a mixed bag but simply offers too much potential as a pass catcher to drop far in the draft. Butt lacks the ideal body you want your TE to have and lacks elite physical talent but should be a second round pick. Value may drive him further. Must show development as a blocker to differentiate himself in this TE class.