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As we continue to roll through our Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile series let's look at another of the many middle linebackers options in this month's draft.
Donald Butler of Washington is a player who has opened the eyes of scouts and general managers with his performances at the Senior Bowl and in post-season workouts.
Let's take a closer look.
Donald Butler Scouting Reports
From NFL Draft Scout.
Butler's stock has been rising quickly the past few months, especially after a strong showing at the Senior Bowl workouts. Based on that, he became a late addition to the invitation list for the combine, where he put up a position-best 35 bench-press repetitions at 225 pounds. Because of injuries to others, Butler moved between inside and outside linebacker in 2008 and did it well enough to be voted the Huskies' most improved defender. He was then selected team captain for 2009, going on to lead the team with 94 tackles, 15½ for a loss. He added two interceptions, a fumble recovery and three forced fumbles.
Has good size and strength but lacks great speed. He is a solid athlete with decent foot agility, balance and short area quickness to close in the open field. Butler should be more physical on contact but is a solid hitter between the tackles. ... Butler has the size, strength, instincts, toughness and athleticism to contribute on special teams as well adding valuable depth to a club in his rookie season. ... Fluid enough to stick in man coverage and reads underneath routes in zone. Hard worker that was very productive in the Pac-10.... Needs to be more physical to be successful at the next level.
Why Butler fits with the Giants
Butler has good size at 6-foot-1, 245 pounds, might offer some positional versatility and seems to have the skills to be a help on coverage teams. The Giants have to try and upgrade their linebacking corps, and Butler is a mid- to late-round option. Plus, seems like he is not a liability against the pass.
Why the Giants should pass
If the guy isn't physical enough how can he anchor the middle of the defense? Sounds a little like Bryan Kehl -- all the physical skills but not the attitude needed to make all the plays. Plus, there is that speed issue. Is he fast enough?