Darien Butler – A new name in the Raiders linebacker corps
Butler, a four-year linebacker at Arizona State, signed with the Raiders after the 2022 NFL Draft.
In his four seasons at ASU, the 6′ linebacker posted 241 tackles with 4 sacks and 3 interceptions. Butler was also able to force 3 fumbles and recover 4, bringing his turnover count to 7.
Despite being graded as a top-50 linebacker in the FBS, Butler went undrafted after putting on a show his senior year. His ’21 campaign included being the sixth-highest graded linebacker via coverage in the FBS (ranking second in Pac-12), with 18 tackles for either no gain or behind the line of scrimmage. This number of tackles at or behind the LOS ranked 8th among FBS defenders, and second in Pac-12.
When it was all said and done at Arizona State, Butler finished his college days being a team captain in three of his four years playing for the school. This includes being the first true sophomore in the school’s history to earn a captain selection.
According to ESPN’s depth chart, no linebacker is deeper in the rotation than Butler, but the UDFA linebacker is climbing the ranks quickly. Per Vic Tafur, Butler has already earned snaps with the starting linebackers as he continues to impress his coaches.
How has it gone for Butler in his time running with the starters? Tafur has already reported the first “loud hit” of the day came at the hands of Darien Butler, slamming into rookie running back Brittian Brown.
One question still remains, though; How does Butler fit in the Raiders’ current defense? Better yet, where is there room for Butler in the rotation?