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Dynasty Sleeper: Brice Butler

Butler

I don’t know why, but it seems like every off-season I become infatuated with an unknown wide receiver in Oakland.  Last year it was Rod Streater, the year before that Denarius Moore and even Jacoby Ford to a degree.  I guess I’m hoping against hope that someone in Oakland is eventually going to emerge as a legitimate WR2 and I don’t want to miss the bus.  I’ve literally been chasing this dream since the Raiders shocked the world and chose Darrius Heyward-Bey with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Then out of the blue, Brice Butler walks into my life and reinforces my obsession.

Butler has been one of the few surprises in Oakland’s training camp and through two preseason games, is looking like he will eventually take over the reigns as the WR3. Fortunately, he is competing against one player (Ford) who can’t stay healthy and a remarkably pedestrian Juron Criner for the right to own the job.

If you missed week one of the preseason, you missed one of the best highlight reel plays to this point where Butler completely laid out to make a 30 yard touchdown catch in the end zone.  It was a thing of beauty.  Not even a week later he earned “some” first team reps and followed it up with another strong performance against New Orleans in week two with three catches for 38 yards on four targets.  Even one of his own teammates (Ford) has gone as far as suggesting Butler has put himself squarely in the mix to win the WR1 job in Oakland.  Statements like those always force me to dig a little deeper and see what this guy was all about.

As I was digging, I found myself becoming more and more intrigued with this seventh round pick.  His measurables are exactly what I’m looking for.  Since Butler was not invited to the combine, let’s take a closer look at his pro day.

Height:  6’3”

Weight:  217

40 Time:  4.37

Vertical:  39”

Three Cone:  6.70

Broad Jump:  10’09”

20 Yd Dash:  2.58

10 Yd Dash:  1.54

*Did not participate in the Bench Press*

There is nothing here suggesting you shouldn’t be impressed.  He is the prototypical size, has elite speed and his three cone drill makes some of the smaller running backs in the league jealous.  At his height and weight, you have to have an insane amount of wiggle in order to perform that well in the three cone drill.  He’s also a very legitimate red zone threat with a 39” vertical.  Based on these overall numbers, he would have an impressive list of comparables like Kenny Britt, Stephen Hill, Braylon Edwards and Javon Walker.  In a nutshell, I’d say the best way to describe Butler in one word is explosive – that in itself makes him worthy of a rostering in my eyes.

It is also noteworthy his former wide receivers coach at USC (now the current wide receivers coach in Oakland) Ted Gilmore was impressed enough over the years with his skills, he lobbied hard for the Raiders to take a shot on him in the seventh round.  It also never hurts when you have an NFL heritage as well.  His father Bobby Butler was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft and played defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons for 12 seasons.

So far everything I’ve mentioned about Butler is all rainbows and butterflies, but there is a big reason he fell until the seventh round of the draft – production.  Over the course of four collegiate seasons, Butler put up a total stat line of 65/907/7 and that includes the two bowl games he played in.  It’s actually quite ironic because Streater had similar numbers coming out of college as well.  Nevertheless, I’m not so much concerned with what he did in college, as much as I’m concerned about what he’s doing now and that’s turning heads on a daily basis.  Personally, I try to not look too far into collegiate productivity because the past is the past.  You can’t change it.  All a player can do is move forward and make the best of their new opportunities.  Butler seems to be doing exactly that.

For dynasty owners who crave instant gratification, Butler is your guy.  I think we will find out sooner than later if this kid can play or not.  He’s not going to be the type of player you have to sit on for 2-3 years before he realizes his potential.  He landed in a situation desperate for talent (which oozes from his pores), so I believe he will be on the field early and often as soon as week one.  Success will determine if his playing time increases or decreases.  From what I’ve been reading, he is also lining up in the slot – this indicates to me he’s been studying the playbook relentlessly in order to line up at multiple spots.  My gut says his playing time will only increase throughout the year.

The word is getting out fast on Butler and if you haven’t already made it a priority to snatch him off the waiver wire, time is of the essence.  If he is available, I’d literally run (don’t pull a hammy, though) to the computer to pick him up right now.  If he’s already owned, I’d either wait for someone to drop him for the next flavor of the week or start off trade negotiations with a third round pick.  Another idea would be to try to get someone to throw him in on a trade you may already be working on.  The worst they can say is “no.”

Could Butler be the Raider I’ve been seeking out for so many years?  Only time will tell.

Follow me on Twitter @harahduh2

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Brad
8 years ago

Articles like this is why I come to DLF. This is a great piece of insight for dynasty owners. I just picked Butler up off of the wire. Thanks for the tip.

noneother
8 years ago

so?? dump Streater?

Cannon
8 years ago

Great…You could not wait 1 more day to publish this piece? Final round of my final rookie draft and I got sniped. I have him everywhere, but my final draft.

Thanks DLF 🙂

smcguiga
8 years ago

very interesting article and I will dig a little deeper….something doesn’t seem to add up….a kid with this kid of measurables should have destroyed college competation….a man playing with boys as it may and especially at a school like SDSU…something doesn’t add up here…..

Other issue is the raiders themselves I already own D Moore and am thinking of dumping him given inconsistant play and horrible QB and over Offense that the Raiders employ(probably worst o line in league as well)…..

He’s on my radar but only a blip.

sixshooter
Reply to  smcguiga
8 years ago

SDSU? South Dakota State University! Ok….just kiddin’!

I hear ya on owning raiders players! I almost refuse to have one on my roster because none…..I mean NONE of them ever pay off…..not even McFadden who, by the way, is hurt again with a shoulder injury this time and was inactive for the game.

I’d have to say the raider that impressed me the most so far in the preseason is Terrelle Pryor. I complemented him after last weeks game and did the same this week. That guy looks good! And after he gave the team a lift last night, the team is saying that they have re-opened the QB competition. Matt Flynn just doesn’t know how to take advantage of a job that is handed to him!

ManuManu
8 years ago

I picked up Butler after reading this, although I had him on my watchlist for a couple of weeks. The clinchers were in the article. 1. Ford saying Butler should be competing for the No. 1 job. That was impressive, even if sometimes players go overboard. 2. His former position coach at USC going to bat for him. That tells me that the coach thinks they didn’t get enough out of Butler and that he’s capable of a lot more.

With the Raiders’ WR corps being so underwhelming, he has a chance to make a little noise this year. Does that mean he ever starts for a fantasy team? Probably not. But I’m comfortable giving him a shot and seeing if he flashes at all this year.

P.S. I actually was considering making an offer for Denarious Moore, since I still believe in his talent. But the more research I did, the more Brice Butler’s name came up. I figured, why not?

Mike
8 years ago

Good Article Doug as always. I love deep sleeper talk.

BAMNation
8 years ago

Been picking him up in most leagues last week!

Now need to move faster in the other leagues

Gary Stinson
8 years ago

Is he hurt? He hasn’t done a damn thing in tonight’s game

sixshooter
Reply to  Gary Stinson
8 years ago

Not sure what happened as I don’t recall him doing much either but I was paying more attention to the Bears offense since I don’t have any interest in the raiders offense other than enjoying watching Terrelle Pryor play. Matt Flynn was likely the problem with Butler not doing anything.

I just don’t have much interest in Butler because of the team he plays on as they just have a difficult time taking advantage of talent especially at WR. They haven’t really had much production at WR since 2002 when they went to the Superbowl with Jerry Rice and Tim Brown at WR. Correct me if I’m wrong but since then, I do not recall a WR that has produced much. There likely may be a one year wonder or two somewhere in there but nothing that should entice a Dynasty owner!

Slppyclwn
Reply to  sixshooter
8 years ago

It’s a valid point. Butler looked talented after the first two games, and I had a trade in the works for him. But he didnt do one thing last night, and that sort of cooled my interests in him a little bit. I already have D Moore in the same league and it was hard enough watching him only make one catch last night. The Raiders awful QB play really puts a damper on the WR value, especially for a budding talent.

Bhit Mi
Reply to  Slppyclwn
8 years ago

0 targets in the 3rd preseason game.

If I was going to take a flier on someone at WR it would be Marlon Brown (Ravens) rather than Butler.

John Hill
5 years ago

lol…the author was ahead of the curve?

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