Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines a receiver whose draft stock is a whisper but his game is at maximum volume.
The sleeper is dead.
That’s what social media says. Considering that a woman on a plane can tweet ignorant and assinine statements prior to takeoff and find herself unemployed and the subject of worldwide shame and ridicule before she disembarks is a testament to the power of the medium.
Even so, the sleeper isn’t dead; he’s just harder to find.
Yes, Many of you have probably already heard of the receiver I’ll be sharing in today’s post and some of you who have will probably be underwhelmed. Of course, there are people online who are eager to turn every point into a contest.
(While I like when you’re impressed, it’s a lot more of a fringe benefit than it is a mission.)
I’m neither naive nor egotistical enough to think that none of you have this receiver on your draftnik/fantasy radar. However, the fact that I’m on Twitter with a large network of media and fans and I’ve yet to see anyone I know mention his name is rare.
I thought I’d be talking about this guy no later than September because this 6’3″, 220-pounder’s rebounding is so preternatural that his skill rips the ball from the term ‘My-Ball Mentality’ and leaves him crying like a stunned five-year-old in a sandbox bereft of his favorite toy.
I presumed he’d be the trendy small-school prospect of this draft. A season-ending shoulder injury during the second week of September killed that notion. So did the demise of Draft Breakdown.
It didn’t help that this two-time All-American with late and strong hands — his nickname could be ‘not so fast my friend’ if it weren’t for the fact that ole Mascot Head on ESPN has an unwritten trademark on the term — was an All-American in the FCS.
These are all reasons why there is barely a whisper about Northern Arizona’s Emmanuel Butler. Big, strong, smart, and quick, Butler’s game has been the source of roaring stadiums in both the FCS and FBS.
Butler owns the perimeter and the red zone and he displays short-area quickness and lateral agility after the catch. After you see the video below, you’ll get an idea why his game impresses me.
There are reasons I could be dead-wrong about Butler. If I’ve overstated his explosiveness and we find that his deep speed is lacking, Butler could wind up little more than a terrific college player who earned big moments against top competition. My exposures to Butler’s film has been lower than the average receiver prospect.
Not so long ago, I was excited about Henderson State’s Darius Davis. His 15 minutes with the San Francisco 49ers ended 14 minutes early.
We all have our misses.
It doesn’t deter my excitement about Butler even if its likely that his college resume renders him an undrafted free agent that will have to scrap for minimal reps in a training camp on a depth chart filled with veterans and draft picks — players who will earn 3-5 times the opportunities to prove their worth and earn more benefit of the doubt when they make mistakes.
I wish I could find more Northern Arizona tape from 2015 and 2016. If you have some that you’d like to share, hit me up.
P.S. – Butler will be returning to NAU in 2018.
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