A mammoth defensive tackle, Vernon Butler became the first player from Louisiana Tech to go in the opening round of the NFL draft in 18 years. He was selected with the #31 overall pick by the Carolina Panthers.
Butler is a multi-dimensional defensive tackle that can play the role of the block absorbing or he can push the pocket almost at will. He is wildly athletic for his size, showing a rare ability of someone his size to move across the line of scrimmage.
He has impressive durability, playing just as strong in the fourth quarter as in the first. He does an excellent job as using his arms to gain separation from blockers. Doing so, Butler is able to see the field well and can shed blockers to find the ball carrier and put himself in position to make plays.
The Carolina Panthers needed to bring some youth into the defensive line with several players at or near the dreaded 30 year mark. Butler should immediately be in the rotation inside with a chance to make an impact for the reigning NFC Champions.
Congratulations to Vernon Butler and the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on representing Conference USA in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.