New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler wasn’t drafted out of college. However, he has become one of the best cornerbacks in the league.
The New England Patriots have the rare skill of being able to find talent in the later rounds of the NFL Draft, and also sometimes players who aren’t drafted. Cornerback Malcolm Butler is another example of that.
After Butler wasn’t drafted from West Alabama, the Patriots invited him to their rookie camp. From the first time Patriots head coach Bill Belichick saw him, he knew Butler could be great.
“We invited Malcolm up for rookie minicamp and we had probably 10-15 players like that, that finished their college careers and were not signed with a team, that were essentially there for a tryout, an extended tryout over that minicamp period,” Belichick said to Kevin Duffy of MassLive.com. “I’d say once we saw Malcolm on the field after that first workout, it was pretty obvious that this was the type of kid that you want to work with. He was obviously raw technique-wise and all that, but he was the type of kid you want to work with.”
Belichick added to Duffy: “He had a good training camp and got a little bit of playing time in his (rookie) year, but we saw him first hand when we actually saw him in the building, in that rookie minicamp three years ago.”
In 2014, Butler played a bit in the regular season. However, it was in the playoffs that he made a name for himself. In Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks, Butler was able to intercept the famous Russell Wilson pass on the goal line.
Since that amazing play, Butler has continued to grow. This season, he has emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Butler is no stranger to shadowing the opposing team’s best wide receiver.
In these playoffs alone, he has limited both DeAndre Hopkins and Antonio Brown, who are two of the best wide receivers in the NFL. In the Super Bowl, Butler will be attempting to stop Atlanta Falcons wide receiver, Julio Jones.
Butler will certainly have a lot of confidence going into the game. Jones will surely make some plays for the Falcons. However, Butler has demonstrated an ability to limit the big plays. You can add Butler to the list of stars that the Patriots have developed.