Photo of Darius Butler
  • 4.46 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 43.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 134.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 6.92 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.19 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 5'10" Height
  • 183LBS. Weight


Even with Connecticut's ascent as a prominent program, the number of players the program is producing might be surprising to those outside the conference. While running back Donald Brown is a known prospect, Butler is likely to be the first UConn player drafted in 2009, despite the fact that he missed the team's final two regular-season games with a knee injury. The four-year starter and two-year captain is athletic enough to project to a man or zone scheme and answered scouts' concerns about his recovery with a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl. Butler wasn't often challenged in 2008 and he finished without an interception. Conference coaches elected the versatile playmaker a first-team all-conference selection and Butler has proven his takeaway ability in the past, recording 10 interceptions over his first three seasons. Butler's uncle, Gene Atkins, played in the NFL and his cousin is Baltimore Ravens' running back Willis McGahee.



Positives: Adequate height for the position. ... Versatile athlete capable of playing in various defensive schemes. ... Instinctive. ... Good recognition in zone. ... Legitimate cover corner athleticism. ... Very good straight-line speed. ... Loose hips to turn and run with receivers. ... Shows a late burst to close. ... Excellent vertical, can get into position for jump balls and make a play on the ball. ... When playing off, he can shadow his man on slants and over the middle. ... Good hands for the interception. ... Played receiver at times as a senior to take advantage of his playmaking ability. ... Gets his shoulder on the ball to force fumbles. ... Closes quickly and wraps up to prevent gains after catch. ... Gets into the pile to assist in tackles. ... Holds up blocks to force quick screens inside. ... Has the straight-line speed and hands to be an effective kick returner. ... Proved his health with a strong week of practice at the Senior Bowl. Negatives: Very lanky with thin hips. ... Not particularly strong on the line or able to get off blocks. ... Bit of a duck-and-swipe tackler. ... Does not always play to timed speed, as quicker receivers can get separation downfield. ... Can get pushed off easily by bigger, stronger receivers. ... Allows too much cushion in off man coverage. ... Missed the final two regular-season games in 2008 with a knee sprain.
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.