As a rookie seventh-round pick in the NFL, you’re never locked into a roster spot. Brice Butler knows that, and is doing everything in his power to prove he’s worth keeping around for the Oakland Raiders.
The audition began during the offseason, when Butler consistently turned heads during OTAs and training camp. Although still extremely raw as a wide receiver, his natural talents shined through during spring and made the Raiders take notice.
When the Raiders’ first preseason showdown rolled around, Butler was primed for a big outing.
In 27 offensive snaps, Butler hauled in two passes for 70 yards, including a 40-yard bomb from undrafted rookie quarterback Matt McGloin that ended in the endzone – the only Oakland touchdown of the game. He managed 25 yards after the catch and forced a missed tackle, giving the Raiders a glimpse of his playmaking abilities.
Going forward, Butler can’t get complacent with an impressive debut performance in his back pocket. He still has a long way to go before he carves a niche for himself in the Raiders’ passing game, but can move up the depth chart with another big game or two.
Butler is off to a fast start for the Raiders, who could use some extra help at wide receiver. If he can keep pace and make more explosive plays as the preseason moves along, there’s a good chance the San Diego State product will crack the 53-man roster.
After a disappointing college career, Butler is finally figuring out how to take advantage of his immense potential. We’ll see if he can unlock all – or at least some – of it with the Raiders.