Allright, Bakes781 has driven me to it. Since we've had almost 24 hours of silence on another famous "overrated" thread, I think it's time for a new one. I'll state my case that Darius Butler is overrated right now. 1. Player productivity Rich Gosselin sums it up nicely: Darius Butler is everything the NFL wants in a cornerback. He's 5-10, 183 pounds and runs a 4.41. His 43-inch vertical jump was the best at the NFL combine. So athletically, the package is all there. So is the football package. Butler started 45 career games at Connecticut and was a two-year captain. He was an All-Big East selection as a senior and also returns kicks. What's not to like? For starters, where are the plays? Butler did not have an interception last season and broke up only four passes in 11 games. You hear that the opposition threw away from Butler -- you hear that about all the great college corners -- but the playmakers find some way to get their hands on the football. Charles Woodson was the only player to win a Heisman Trophy at cornerback in 1997. Offenses didn't throw at him, but he still found a way to intercept five passes for Michigan that season. The last highly-touted cornerback I can recall coming of college without an interception in his senior season was North Carolina's Jimmy Hitch**** in 1995. He wound up sliding into the third round, where he was drafted by New England. He played eight NFL seasons and intercepted 19 career passes. Butler did intercept 10 passes in his career at Connecticut -- but none in his final 17 games. Butler will still go high in the 2009 draft. Just how high will be determined by how NFL teams resolve in their draft meetings his lack of plays. NFL Blog | Sports News | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News Is that the kind of playmaker worth a 1st round draft pick? 2. Early draft rankings The the end of the bowl season Butler was generally ranked as a late 2nd/early 3rd round prospect. He was by no means a consensus 1st day pick. National Football Post didn't have them in the top 100 from their January 4 rankings (Vontae Davis was ranked 22, Sean Smith 32, and Alphonso Smith 41; the list all included juniors who ended up staying): The National Football Post | NFL Draft: Updated Top 100 Prospects NFLdraftscout had him a bit higher, ranked #58 in their January rankings, as was noted on this thread (see post #8): http://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/13/203389-nfl-draft-scout-top-64-a.html 3. The Senior Bowl Butler had a decent week at the Senior Bowl but didn't particularly stand out. Certainly he didn't separate himself from the other CBs, and Alphonso Smith was generally the most mentioned CB participating. Butler didn't show up on any of the winners/losers lists. I don't think his stock was particularly affected. Detailed discussion of the Senior Bowl, courtesy of Seneschal2, can be found at: http://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/13/209066-2009-senior-bowl.html 4. Combine and Pro day There's no doubt that Butler blew up the combine and had a great pro day, running in the 4.38-4.45 range with a 43" verticle, 11+' long jump, blazing fast 10 yard split, and decent 3-cone. He looks very smooth in drills with a great backpedal and nice hip flip. He clearly looks like a 1st round CB at these workouts. 5. Summary One can make a fairly strong argument that Butler is a mid/late 2nd round CB in pads, and a 1st rounder in shorts, whereas Alphonso Smith is a 1st round CB in pads and a mid/late 2nd rounder in shorts. Butler has had tremendous workouts at the combine and in his pro day, and looks the part, but he didn't really produce as a playmaker at Connecticut and he didn't particularly stand out at the combine. Does this make him a solid 1st round prospect? I'm not sure. I put him in the overrated category right now.