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NFL executive compares Jake Butt to Jason Witten


More and more, college football offenses are trending toward playing tight ends as oversized slot receivers.

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But there are still some throwbacks at the position, like Michigan's Jake Butt, and it's no surprise that he's drawn a comparison to another more traditional tight end in Dallas Cowboys veteran Jason Witten.

"Butt does remind me a little of Jason Witten coming out," an NFL personnel executive recently told analyst Daniel Jeremiah.

Witten played at Tennessee from 2000-2002, and was listed in college at a similar size -- just an inch shorter and a bit heavier at 6-foot-5, 265 pounds -- as Butt (6-6, 250). While both have imposing size, their receiving skills aren't to be overlooked. Butt caught 51 passes for 654 yards a year ago, and already has 19 receptions for 234 yards and three touchdowns in four games this season for the Wolverines. A steal of a third-round pick for the Cowboys in 2003, Witten has amassed more than 1,000 career NFL receptions for more than 11,000 yards, and hasn't missed a regular-season start since 2006.

"I really like the comparison to Jason Witten," Jeremiah said. "Both guys are physical, instinctive and catch everything."

As a senior, Butt will be eligible for the 2017 NFL Draft.

The biggest difference between the two could lie in Butt's need to show NFL scouts improvement as a blocker. In evaluating three of Butt's game tapes from last season, Jeremiah noted his natural pass-catching skills, but also significant blocking struggles. In that review, Jeremiah compared Butt's receiving skills to Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.



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