Lost in the shuffle of celebrating the victory over the New Orleans Saints this week, the Denver Broncos quietly made a few roster moves in addendum to placing Linebacker Joe Mays on the Injured Reserve list.
It was assumed that Joe's spot on the 53-man Roster be be taken by LB D.J. Williams, who has yet to complete his suspension. The team won't wait that long though. Safety Duke Ihenacho was promoted from the Practice Squad and Cornerback Mario Butler was signed to the Practice Squad yesterday.
Mario Butler is a 6-1, 187 lb., 24-year old Cornerback with 1 season of Pro experience out of Georgia Tech. He was signed by the Dallas Cowboys in July 2011 as a College Free Agent after going undrafted.
Mario was signed to the 53-man roster and appeared in one game for the Cowboys this season, taking 7 snaps during the Week 1 opener against the New York Giants. One week later, Butler found himself on the Dallas Practice Squad from Weeks 2-7 before he was waived on October 16th.
Butler started the final 39 games at Georgia Tech and posted 136 tackles, four interceptions, 12 pass breakups and 10 tackles for a loss in 51 total games.
Rated No. 51 out of 182 Cornerback prospects in 2011, Mario participated at the 2011 NFL Combine.
- Arm Length:29 1/2 in.
- Hand Size:8 5/8 in.
- 40 Yard Time: 4.65 sec (Pro Day: 4.56)
- 20 Yard Time: 2.67
- 10 Yard Time: 1.56
- Bench Press - -
- Vertical Jump: 30.5"
- Broad Jump: 10'-0"
- 3 Cone: 7.09 sec
- 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.37 sec
- 60 Yard Shuttle: 11.83 sec
Here is Butler’s 2011 Combine profile:
Butler possesses the coveted height and enough athleticism to make it in the league as a backup. Probably doesn't have the instincts in zone or pure man coverage ability to become a full-time starter. Does a good job seeing plays develop in front of him, reacting to the football and coming up with intensity but needs to become a more consistent tackler. Can make some plays on the football with his height and adequate hands but isn't a big time leaper and won't haul-in many interceptions. Probably more of a late-round prospect but has a chance to get into the mid rounds.
Butler's a hard-worker who has steadily improved his game over time. Has good height for a corner prospect. Comfortable in off-man or zone coverage, seeing plays develop in front of him and reacting to the football. Will use his length to high-point the football against shorter receivers. Eager to help out in run support.
Lacking some top-end speed and strength. Will require safety help over the top at the next level. Susceptible to double-moves, hitch-and-goes, etc. Not the smoothest athlete turning and transitioning. Doesn't have much experience in press-man. Needs to polish up his tackling technique and can be engulfed by blockers when coming up in run support.
CBSSports had this to say about Butler:
Butler has been an outstanding Cornerback for Georgia Tech. The NFL will likely want him to get stronger and improve his ability to shed blocks and make tackles against the run. A bright young man who gives his all on the field, Butler has the tools and the work ethic to develop into a quality starting corner in the NFL in most coverage schemes, but may never be a true "shutdown corner" at the next level.
Positives: Smooth and fluid, can flip hips and change directions without losing speed, and looks natural in his backpedal. Provides tight man coverage without giving up a lot of separation. Durable three-year starter improved every year. Did a decent job against top competition, most recently against A.J. Green of Georgia. Effective in both man and zone schemes. Gives good effort against the run. Smart in the classroom - top intangibles.
Negatives: Thin build, can be easily blocked by receivers. Will have to get stronger to be effective in the NFL against the run. Didn't play a lot of "press man" coverage, likely because he doesn't hold up well to contact. While fluid and athletic, is not overly fast and may lack the true "sixth gear" speed for NFL man coverage assignments without deep help. Ball skills are decent but nothing special.
Archie Barberio of Blogging the Boys noticed some improvement from Butler after his term on the Cowboys Practice Squad:
One of the reasons a lot of the writers who covered the Cowboys this summer had Butler penciled in on the 53-man roster was due to his versatility. Butler came to the Cowboys as an outside Cornerback, but he has added the ability to play the slot and safety to his repertoire.
I won’t pretend to think Mario’s presence is something to get overly excited about, but developing depth to cover slot receivers isn’t a bad thing.
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