Cleveland Browns safety target No. 3: Percy Butler (Round 7 or possible UDFA)
When it comes to seventh-round draft picks in the NFL, it’s a dart throw. You throw the floor out the window and look for athletic upside. A prime candidate for a raw, high ceiling free safety is Percy Butler out of the University of Louisiana.
Butler is exactly the type of player that you would target with your last dart throw of the draft. His physical metrics are off the chart. Butler put together a solid combine effort with a 4.36 second 40-yard dash, 31.5-inch vertical leap, and a 128-inch broad jump. At six-foot-even and 190lbs, Butler is slight of frame but plays much stouter.
Butler’s back-end instincts are very raw and will take time to refine before he could be a consistent contributor. He has shown a tendency to get caught with his eyes in the backfield, and at the NFL level that will make him a target in the play-action game. Butler does have the top-end speed to make up for some of his indecisiveness but until his eyes improve it will be tough to give him deep third responsibility.
However, where Butler can contribute from day one while he is learning is special teams. Butler is an exceptional gunner on punt coverage and would be an instant upgrade for the Browns kick coverage units. While he can be reckless in pursuit of returners, when he gets a bead on the ball, it’s lights out.
Butler is a high-intensity, blue-collar worker, who is not afraid to do the dirty work. He is exactly the type of player the city of Cleveland would love and would quickly become a fan favorite with his heat-seeking style of play.