How Butler fits the Raiders’ scheme
Butler steps onto the field as a linebacker that excels in coverage. This is also a great tackler who has good feel against the run. Altogether, we’re talking about a three-down linebacker who can stay on the field in most situations.
One trait that stands out is the aggressiveness on defense. Raider Nation loves their aggressive hitting defenders, and Butler is there to remind you he’s on the field every time he closes in on a ball carrier.
In this Raiders’ defense, Butler can play both inside and outside linebacker, although some outlets such as The Draft Network predict him to best translate on the outside.
In a 4-3, which the Raiders will run when applicable under Graham, Perryman is certain to hold down a starting role with second-year linebacker Divine Deablo likely grabbing a spot on the outside. While there will be room for a third linebacker on occasion, the most likely scenario here is nickel cornerback Nate Hobbs takes the place of the would-be additional linebacker.
With such scarce snaps to go around in this look, it’s hard for rotational LBs to find snaps here. Still, Butler’s versatility allows him to be a three-down linebacker, and play anywhere in the unit. Needless to say, this is an asset that only helps him see time on the field.
In the 3-4, things are a bit easier. There’s more room for additional linebackers to come in, and Butler can take full advantage of that. On the outside, Butler has shown his coverage skills while flashing moderate ability to get to the quarterback. Inside, the UDFA out of Arizona State proved his value against the run.
At this point in time, it seems most reasonable for Butler to accumulate most of his snaps as an OLB in the Raiders’ 3-4 looks. Simply put, there are not only more linebacker reps to go around in the 3-4 but there’s also less competition on the outside in these looks than on the inside.
The Las Vegas Raiders did not pick up the fifth-year option for Josh Jacobs, but that does not mean they do not need him now more than ever.
Butler is coming, and Raider Nation should be excited.