NFL.com writer and former scout for the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks, Bucky Brooks, has just released rankings that will make Michigan fans happy. Brooks has listed Jake Butt and Jehu Chesson in his top 4 college pass catchers, with Butt coming in at No. 2 and Chesson at No. 4. Both Michigan standouts are already generating early round chatter for the 2017 NFL Draft.
Brooks on Butt
“It is hard to find an old-school tight end in today's game, but Butt is a throwback with the size, soft hands and route-running skills to terrorize defenses between the hashes. As a polished route runner with a big body and a rugged game, he excels at "box-out" routes (option and Y-stick) over the middle. He overpowers defenders to establish position and uses his length to expand the strike zone for quarterbacks. Although Butt does most of his work at short-to-intermediate range, he flashes enough quickness and burst to run away from defenders on sail routes (15-speed outs) to the boundary. Given his impressive work on critical downs and situations (third-down and red zone), Butt has all of the tools to thrive as a TE1 on any level.”
Butt finished 2015 with 51 receptions, 654 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
Brooks on Chesson
“The Wolverines' WR1 is a silky smooth playmaker with a polished game. Chesson is not only the best route runner in college football, but he is a natural pass-catcher with strong hands and exceptional ball skills. The 6-3, 200-pounder routinely comes down with 50-50 balls on the perimeter, exhibiting sneaky strength and superb concentration fending off defenders down the field. With Chesson also showing big-time running skills as a returner and playmaker in the open field, it's easy to see why Jim Harbaugh has made the slender pass-catcher the No. 1 option in the passing game.”
Chesson had a highly productive 2015, with 50 receptions, 764 yards, and 9 touchdowns.
Both players will look to improve on those numbers in 2016, to help their team win first and foremost, and to also boost their seemingly rising draft stock some more.