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Road to the NFL Draft: Vernon Butler

Position: Defensive tackle.

School: Louisiana Tech.

Combine measurables: 6-foot-4, 323 pounds.

Combine stats: 40-yard dash: 5.33 seconds. Bench press: 26 reps. Vertical: 29.5 inches. Broad jump: 8 feet, 8 inches. 3-cone drill: 7.82 seconds. 20-yard shuttle: 4.76 seconds.

Career stats: 49 games, 170 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 9 quarterback hurries, 3 passes defensed, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble.

Draft projection: First-second round.

Lowdown: A 2015 All-Conference USA first-team selection, Butler was named to the watch lists for both the Rotary Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy. He’s most frequently been compared to Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson. … Scouting reports rave about the ability Butler has to play multiple spots along the defensive line. He has experience everywhere from nose tackle to five-technique defensive end. … Dominated Senior Bowl practices against a higher level of competition and is widely praised for his effort level. … Just a two-star recruit coming out of high school, Butler chose Louisiana Tech over SEC schools Ole Miss and Mississippi State.

They said it: “The 6-foot-4, 315-pound Wilkerson and the 6-foot-4, 323-pound Butler both have rare length (35-inch arms) and foot speed, making them tough one-on-one matchups for offensive tackles when they line up on the outside. They also have the quickness, strength and violent hands to create chaos when they line up on the inside.” – ESPN’s Steve Muench.

– Jay Skurski

The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday.

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