Matthew Butler

Matthew Butler

  • Height
  • Hand
    9 1/4
  • VJ
  • Weight
  • Arm
    33 1/2
  • Speed
DT Combine Averages
  • Height
  • Hand
  • VJ
  • Weight
  • Arm
  • Speed
Tolbert Nance - Scout
Matthew Butler
  • Overall Rank
  • Position Rank
  • Position
  • Age
    23.0 Years
  • Team


Year Games Played Tackles TFL Pressure % Sacks Misc. Stats
2017 3 4 1 0.0% 0 -
2018 6 13 1 4.8% 0 -
2019 12 45 3 5.0% 2.5 2 PD
2020 10 43 3 3.9% 2 1 PD, 1 FF
2021 13 47 9 6.6% 5 1 FF


Does he have prototype size? What is body type? What is growth potential?

Matthew Butler is a high-cut (high rear) player with adequate overall size for a 3-Tech in a multiple defense with adequate height and average weight that allowed for him to be able to serviceably hold up against most competition while playing from a 0-5-Tech in college. Possesses adequate overall length with adequate arm length, above the line shoulder width, and average hand size. Light in his lowers with limited build in his read and skinny ankles which allows for better, lighter movements but also can get him defeated and knocked off the ball (especially against doubles) due to lack of strength in his base. Hasn’t been listed to have had any injuries and therefore shouldn’t be considered currently as an injury concern with above the line frame/durability. Butler also is a high academic kid, which helps his physcological profile tremendously as well.

  • Size
  • Length
  • Frame/Durability
Grade 6.0


Is he instinctual? Does he play with urgency?

Matthew Butler has outstanding toughness, flashing physicality and high motor from a variety of positions (0-5-Tech) while being a consistent constributor for Tennessee over a 4-year span in that capacity. Possessses above the line instincts due to have good anticipation at the snap while showing multiple players where he anticipates and blows up the play as a penetrator or 2-gapper vs. both Run and Pass. Also has above the line key and diagnose through traffic while also showing above the line feel on blocks to scrape, work through, or split gaps. Did have moments where he oversold on plays and would turn his body toward the eye candy while lacking the hip flexibility to be able to work back toward the actual ballcarrier. Adequate effort/motor that runs very hot when he’s on but got progressively worse as games went on (conditioning?). Would disappear in some games (Ole Miss aside from his 2 sacks) while in others he was highly disruptive (Pittsburgh).

  • Toughness
  • Instincts
  • Effort/Motor
Grade 7.0


Does he have the athletic traits you want?

Matthew Butler has above the line overall explosiveness with outstanding explosiveness in his lowers out of his stance [34 and 32 verticals (highest among NFL draft DTs) also make this evident along with his quick 1st 2 steps], but does have average explosiveness in his uppers, lacking the explosiveness in his strike to consistently displace OL (also tied for the lowest bench at the combine among DTs with 17 reps). Does flash ability to extend and play assignments in 1v1s, head-up. Possesses adequate speed as he shows willingness to chase in pursuit and continue pursuit in the 2nd half of the snap as a rusher. He is a low runner and doesn’t gain a ton of ground in his steps (strains later in games). Average body control as he generally shows ability to maintain and stay on his feet but his balance can get worse as his base narrows (he already comes out of a narrow stance). Possesses ankle and hip stiffs but flashes average bend and is able to succeed with flexibility/bend/COD because of his foot quickness and lateral explosiveness (adequate COD). Adequate play strength as he doesn’t always extend while lacking the desired length to consistently lock out but flashes ability to 2-Gap, 1-arm, and play with a variety of UOH moves (favored a stab and swim back in the opposite direction at 1 point). Needs to bringhis hands more instead of leaning his shoulders into OL.

  • Explosiveness
  • Speed
  • Body Control
  • Flexibility/Bend
  • Change of Direction
  • Play Strength
Grade 5.8


Does he have a refined skill set? Is he a projection or is his game developed enough to contribute early?

Matthew Bulter has above the line get off/initial burst, showing quick, anticipatory get off while popping right out of his stance (specifically excelling out of a 4pt stance bursting out laterally on stunts/twists). Possesses above the line pass rushing ability as a high-motor finisher in the 2nd half of the snap with versatility to rush from outside (from a 5-Tech) to inside. Can’t be expected to consistently bend a corner (therefore don’t consistently want him at a 5-Tech). Possesses adequate heavy handedness that flashes with strike and extend ability but needs to reduce amount of flailing his arms or using his shoulders and continue to incorporate UOH and counters. Above the line POA ability and had multiple exceptional reads on interior run with above the line instincts to boot. Average closing speed and looked like he was falling over himself at times in chase. Average twitch and suddenness and would overpursue down the LOS while turning his body with limited hip flexibility to flip back, but did flash ability to bend off the edge. Above the line play temperament and flashed violence but needs to improve consistency.

  • Get Off/Initial Burst
  • Pass Rush
  • Heavy Handedness
  • Point of Attack
  • Disengage
  • Closing Speed
  • Twitch/Suddenness
  • Play Temperament
Grade 6.1

Grading Scale

  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
    Above the Line
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1


What role does he play? What is his initial projection?
5th-year, COVID SR who has started 26 of 53 games, including 12 of 13 in 2021. Fringe 4-star HS prospect who, although he found a role early, playing in 8 games as a true FR in 2017, didn’t start a game until his JR season (2019), starting in 4 of 13 games that year. Following his breakout 2019 season, where he ended up leading the Tennessee DL in tackles while also earning high academic honors as well (CoSIDA Academic All-District 1st Team and SEC Academic Honor Roll), Butler continued with his success, starting in all 10 games in 2020 and leading the DL in tackles again (also was 2020 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll, was a nominee for the 2020 SEC McWhorter Award, and got 2020 CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 1st Team). Statistically proved to have his best year yet in 2021 as a COVID/SUPER SR, starting in 12 of 13 games while not only leading the DL in tackles for the 3rd year in a row but also earning multiple awards off the field academically/socially (2021 Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll, 2021 William V. Campbell Trophy Semifinalist, 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-District 3 1st Team, 2021 SEC Community Service Team, and 2021 CoSIDA Academic All-America 2nd Team). Regardless, even though he doubled his 2020 snap count in 2021, he statistically didn’t improve entirely too much (43 tackles in 2020 to 47 tackles in 2021). East/West Shrine Bowl participant. Played under HC Josh Heupel (1st season), DC Tim Banks (1st season), and DL Coach Rodney Garner (1st season). Due to his psychological profile along with his production consistently at a high level in the SEC over a good span, Matthew Butler projects as a player that will be able to contribute early as a Functional Starter that you can win with (but ultimately probably won't be much more). Butler projects best as a 3-Tech in a 4-3 but could play in a multiple defense due to experience in that capacity at Tennessee and his instincts at the POA on blocks and vs. both Run and Pass.

Film Watched

  • iconBest Game
  • v Pittsburgh
  • Sep - 11 - 2021
  • High motor / Highly disruptive / Instinctive vs. Interior Run / Very good UOH
  • iconWorst Game
  • v Ole Miss
  • Oct - 16 - 2021
  • Got tired early in 2nd Q and other than 2 strip sacks didn't factor in too much
Best Trait
Toughness / Instincts
Pro Comparison
Justin Madubuike (2020 - Round 3 - Pick 71 - Baltimore Ravens)