In 2011, it was Denarius Moore. In 2012, it was Rod Streater. In 2013, it could be Brice Butler.
Every year, the Oakland Raiders find a late-round/undrafted wide receiver who goes from little-known prospect to playmaker. The trend could continue in 2013 with seventh-round pick Butler, who has quickly turned heads in his short time with the Raiders.
It all started during the Raiders rookie minicamp, where Butler lit it up, albeit against subpar, unproven talent. While becoming rookie quarterback Tyler Wilson’s favorite target of camp, Butler showed off phenomenal athleticism, making acrobatic catches and torching any defensive back that was unlucky enough to line up across from him.
The real test, however, lies ahead during training camp. Even if Butler continues to shine during OTAs, his success won’t mean anything until the shoulder pads and pressure are on. He’ll be competing with the likes of Moore, Streater, Jacoby Ford, Juron Criner, Josh Cribbs and Conner Vernon for a spot with the Raiders.
While Butler was a complete bust in college, the speedy 6’3’’ receiver was a top prospect coming out of high school. It’s not promising that he couldn’t compete at USC and was average at San Diego State, but Butler has the upside and physical tools to develop into a contributor for the Raiders.
As a seventh-round pick, Butler is anything but a lock to crack the Raiders’ 53-man roster this fall. If he keeps pace against the veterans during OTAs and training camp, though, his chances will definitely increase.
If Butler plays to his potential, a roster spot is definitely within reach. Not only would it provide the Raiders with yet another steal, but Butler panning out would also leave GM Reggie McKenzie looking like a genius. Plus, Oakland needs all of the cheap production they can get.
Crazier things have happened…