Hakeem Butler: Just One Option As The First Pick In Rookie Drafts

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A look at At DK Metcalf, Hakeem Butler, and N’Keal Harry, three players that could potentially go 1.01 in rookie drafts.


I’ve watched a lot of the wide receivers in this upcoming 2019 NFL Draft, and one thing that I can tell you is that it is a really, really deep class with a lot of talent that is going to be available into day three of the NFL Draft and even past round four of your dynasty rookie drafts.

I have my favorites, and the guys that I’m going to be targeting in specific areas of my rookie drafts, but I think that it’s far more useful to go through all of the prospects and take a look at why I like some guys, and why I will probably have very few shares of others.

DK Metcalf

DK Metcalf is a fascinating study of analytics twitter vs. tape twitter. People who watch tape love DK Metcalf. People who love production, hate DK Metcalf. His polarizing combine results that showed insane speed and insanely poor agility times didn’t help clear up the situation for anyone and only divided the community more.

Personally, I use both film and production numbers in my evaluations, but production is mostly a box a player checks or a red flag. For DK Metcalf, this was the latter.

After watching plenty of tape on DK, I’ve decided that I’m not very worried about his lack of production. Quarterback play was terrible. The offense ran on deep routes with a quarterback that couldn’t throw the deep ball and an offensive line that couldn’t keep the quarterback upright long enough to get the ball out.

It wasn’t pretty.

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Concerns around Metcalf’s agility are real, but he shows a lot of subtlety in his routes and attention to detail. He may never be an explosive route runner, but he can be a technical one, and he has shown the commitment to being one. With his size, speed, physicality, and subtlety in his routes, he shouldn’t struggle to create separation at the next level, and he won’t need much anyway.

DK Metcalf is being heralded as one of the all-time boom or bust prospects. I think that is significantly overblown. Every prospect has bust potential, but I think that Metcalf has a higher floor than he’s given credit for. His speed, high point ability, ability in contested catch situations, and ability to track the football give him a safe floor as a deep threat and a threat in the red zone.

Sure, he may not end up being the second coming of Calvin Johnson that some people want him to be, but a deep threat and a red zone threat is a far higher floor than anyone wants to give DK Metcalf credit for. He has one of the higher floors in this class in my opinion.

This is not a popular opinion, but DK Metcalf is my 1.01 dynasty rookie pick in predraft rookie drafts. That said, I’m trying to trade back from the 1.01 if I have it, because there are plenty of good wide receivers in this class, and most people are favoring one of the next two players at the 1.01 anyway.

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Hakeem Butler

In many places, Hakeem Butler is the 1.01. He’d be my 1.02, but I have absolutely no issue with him at 1.01 and think that he’s certainly deserving of the pick.

Hakeem Butler is a monstrous combo of size and speed with surprising ability to sink his hips and make sharp explosive cuts out of his routes. He extends for the ball and has excellent high pointing ability, catches well in contested catch situations, and is a load to bring down after the catch.

At 6’5, with 4.48 speed, Hakeem Butler is a very impressive prospect.

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While many are concerned about DK Metcalf’s ability to beat the press due to his low agility scores, I’m more concerned about Hakeem Butler’s releases based on his game tape. This was an area he struggled and an area that he is going to have to show significant improvement in to be a consistent threat on the outside at the next level. Does he have the physical tools and frame to do it? Absolutely. Is it a question mark on his profile? Yes.

Hakeem Butler has some issues with concentration drops, but his hands are good overall, and I’d be more concerned if it seemed that he didn’t have strong enough hands to make plays in contested situations. That doesn’t appear to be an issue.

Most people will prefer Hakeem Butler to DK Metcalf in their 2019 dynasty rookie drafts. That’s ok. He’s a really good prospect that should be an excellent dynasty asset. I just prefer DK.

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N’Keal Harry

N’keal Harry is another prospect that many people are selecting at the 1.01. I can safely say that I won’t have any shares of N’Keal Harry when the new season begins.

N’Keal Harry is a fine prospect. He isn’t a bad player, but I don’t think that he is the player that everyone thinks that he is.

Let’s start with the positives. He’s a big receiver with good college production. He has strong hands, plays physically at the catch point, can high point the ball and can extend to catch the ball away from his frame. He fares very well in contested catch situations and is a monster after the catch due to his physical nature.

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That’s a lot to like. Don’t get me wrong, he has some really nice traits that both the draft community and the dynasty community have fallen in love with. I don’t blame them, but I don’t necessarily agree with them either.

The negatives. N’Keal Harry is not a good route runner. He doesn’t show any attention to detail or plan of attack in his routes. He doesn’t appear to have the explosiveness necessary to create separation out of his breaks. He is stiff and labored in his cuts and doesn’t seem natural on the horizontal plane.

I don’t see N’Keal Harry separating at the next level. He showed a ton of contested catch reps on his college tape because he was frequently contested due to lack of separation. He didn’t run the agility drills at the combine, but if he had, his scores would likely have been poor.

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We’ve seen what Metcalf’s agility scores did to his dynasty stock. What would poor scores have done to Harry who doesn’t have the elite speed that Metcalf has? It wouldn’t have been pretty. Metcalf creates separation with his speed, physicality, and attention to detail in his routes. Harry can probably do one of those things.

Metcalf is a fine prospect, but I don’t think that he is the elite one that everyone wants him to be. He does a lot of things really well, but his athleticism on tape doesn’t look great overall, and his poor route running is going to cause him issues at the next level. He can work on his technique, but his stiffness and lack of explosiveness will probably keep him from ever creating decent separation at the NFL level.


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