CB Darius Butler, Connecticut
One of the top CB's in the draft, Darius is a real find, in my opinion. Projected as a first rounder, the fact that he slid this far is a testament to just how crazy this draft has been. Over the coming weeks, I'll have a hard time fighting my enthusiasm for this kid. Sure, second year guys Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite, along with vets Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden, have it covered. But, Ellis Hobbs' contract is up in '09 and drafting Butler gives them both insurance if he goes and leverage if he stays. Are you worried about Hobbs' return game? He is, afterall, one of the leagues most productive return men. Don't be worried. This from his bio on nfl.com:
Regarded as the premier cornerback in the Big East Conference, Butler added a new wrinkle to his game that would make New England Patriots fans clamoring for him to be their next Troy Brown. Always willing to help the team in any way he can, Butler was highly productive wearing two hats last season, seeing action as a receiver in addition to taking over kickoff return duties full-time.
Could Butler be the next Asante Samuel? All I know is corner has been a weak spot for the New England secondary since the departure of Samuel to Philadelphia and if Butler can serve as a return man AND receiver every once in a while, that'd work just fine. Belichick loves players who can wear many hats and I think Darius fits the bill.