4 Daron Payne replacements Commanders could target after first round
By Jerry Trotta
3. Matthew Butler, Tennessee
Another locker room presence who leads by example both on and off the gridiron, Butler was granted an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic and returned to Tennessee for another season in 2021.
In 13 games, Butler boosted his draft stock by posting career-highs with 47 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. At 6-foot-4 and 295 pounds, the former Volunteer has the strength and athleticism to fill a one- or two-gap role.
If the Commanders watched Butler’s college film, they took notice that his most impressive performance came against Alabama. Given the Crimson Tide are a breeding ground for future franchise offensive linemen, that should give a solid perspective about how Butler’s game will transition to the NFL.
Butler doesn’t have great length, but he played every spot on the defensive line for Tennessee and could become a future starter as a three- or five-technique player. Another rusher who boasts strong body control and lateral quickness, Butler would be a great get for Washington in the fourth round.