Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
|24. Atlanta Falcons|
Reasons for drafting: "The Falcons are in a position in this year’s draft not unlike the Colts in1999: Should they build some more weapons around a franchise quarterback, or improve a mediocre defense? Bill Polian decided to upgrade his offense by drafting Edgerrin James. That move shot the Colts to the top of the offensive rankings for years to come. In 2009, the elite-TE prospect Brandon Pettigrew could potentially do the same for the Falcons; however, I believe the Falcons have too many issues on defense if they want to take a legitimate step toward being a Super Bowl contender. Moreover, another great TE, Jared Cook, has a legitimate shot of being available when the Falcons pick in the second round. With all of that in mind, the best option available for the Falcons at the 23rd pick is CB Darius Butler.
A four-year starter at UConn, Butler is one of the most phenomenal athletes available in this draft. He elevated his status at the Combine by recording some of the top scores for cornerbacks, most notably the best 40-yard dash with a 4.46. Butler is also a very versatile player. Scouts project that he has the ability to play in both zone and man coverages. In addition, he was a great kick returner for UConn and even played wide receiver in some packages. The one knack on Butler is his lack of interceptions, recording a grand total of zero in his senior season. But I believe that is a direct result of teams throwing away from him, a la Nnamdi Asomugha (you know, the best cornerback in football). Butler has the ability to make an immediate impact on a Falcons defense in desperate need of a playmaker besides John Abraham. He should be a great player for years to come."
Check out Darius Butler's scouting report at Mocking The Draft.
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