Commanders

Commanders' fourth-rounder Percy Butler is a special teams star

Commanders

The Commanders opened up the third day of the 2022 NFL Draft by selecting a defensive back with serious closing speed. 

With the 113th overall pick, Washington grabbed safety Percy Butler out of Louisiana. Butler is the fourth-consecutive senior that the club has chosen thus far and posted a 4.36 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, which was the second-fastest time at his position.

Though some, like NBC Sports' Chris Simms, are quite bullish on Butler's skills in the secondary, the real standout part of his game is what he contributes in football's third facet. 

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"Best special teams coverage player in the entire draft," NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah said following the choice. "A dominant gunner."

In a conference call with the local media soon after he received the Commanders' call, Butler touched on his appreciation for that part of the sport, too.

"I feel like I can play every special teams, all four of them, but my favorite special teams has got to be punt [coverage]."

On Friday, Washington general manager Martin Mayhew told reporters that Washington got "tougher" after acquiring defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis and running back Brian Robinson Jr. out of Alabama. Butler, who explained that physicality defines his approach, certainly will add to that.

 

The organization then traded its second fourth-rounder and a sixth-rounder to — wait for it — the Carolina Panthers. In return, Washington landed Carolina's pair of fifth-rounders, which sit at No. 144 and No. 149.