Cardinals take Iowa State WR Hakeem Butler in 4th round of draft
TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals added diminutive speed with their second pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. It didn’t take a day longer for them to add a very different type of receiver to the position group.
Arizona drafted its second receiver in the draft to kick off the fourth round Saturday by selecting Iowa State’s Hakeem Butler.
“Never anticipated that this young man would be there on the board,” said Cardinals general manager Steve Keim. “A guy that we had tracked all throughout the spring, has outstanding size, length and athleticism. Came and checked every box in the offseason. It was really a no-brainer at that spot.”
The 103rd overall pick of Butler came a day after the Cardinals surpassed one of the most physically-gifted receivers in D.K. Melcalf, opting instead to take speedy 5-foot-9 slot receiver Andy Isabella with the 62nd pick.
Butler recorded 1,318 receiving yards and nine touchdowns for the Cyclones in 2018, his junior season.
The 6-foot-5, 227-pound Butler is a jump-ball threat with a 36-inch vertical recorded at the NFL Draft Combine and has speed, too. He ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash.
Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has familiarity with Butler’s game having coached for Texas Tech in the Big 12 last season.
“I’m super excited to play with Kliff Kingsbury,” Butler said. “I told him when I met him at the combine I wanted to go to Texas Tech, they didn’t offer me (out of high school). He called me and said he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.”
Butler blew up as a senior after going relatively unrecruited out of Travis High School, the same school attended by Butler’s cousins, Andrew and Aaron Harrison. The twins were high-profile basketball recruits who attended Kentucky.
Butler played little his redshirt freshman season at Iowa State, then made a leap with 41 catches for 697 receiving yards in 2017. Last season, he made 60 catches, averaging 22 yards per grab.
Now, he joins a Cardinals roster with a chance to play right away as a big-target threat.
“Larry Fitzgerald, that’s everything,” he said of the Cardinals.
“I think that might be the thing I’m more excited about. To just pick up anything from him … I’m excited.”