Predraft Visit: WR Finds Route to Success

By focusing on improving his route-running and "mastering his craft," Tennessee-Martin's Jeremy Butler had an All-American senior season. We talked to him in the latest Packer Report exclusive.

Jeremy Butler caught passes from Brett Favre's nephew. Perhaps next month, he'll be catching passes from Aaron Rodgers.

Martin, an All-American wide receiver from Tennessee-Martin, had a predraft visit with the Green Bay Packers.

"It went well," Butler told Packer Report. "I knew a lot about the organization as far as the history and Brett Favre and Lambeau Field and how historic it was, but I enjoyed getting to see it from a whole new perspective. They showed me some love and I appreciated it. There's a lot of good people up there. Coach Edgar Bennett is a good dude."

As a senior, Butler ranked sixth in the FCS with 1,203 receiving yards and seventh with 90 receptions. Both figures established school records, and the junior-college transfer's two-year totals of 141 receptions, 1,953 receiving yards and 20 touchdown receptions all rank in the top five on the school's record chart.

With a Packers scout watching his pro day workout last month, Butler (6-2, 224) ran his 40-yard dash in 4.60 seconds and recorded a 36-inch vertical jump.

After watching film during his visit, Butler said the Packers' offense is "the kind of system I'd love to play in."

"In the red zone, their quick game (is similar to UT-M's system) as far as the back-shoulders, the jump balls, the quick slants. We did some similar things as far as the play-action pass and the outside receivers. I feel like I'd fit in their system well."

After starring at the College of the Sequoias, Butler landed at Tennessee-Martin in 2012. After a slow start getting acclimated to his new surroundings, Butler scored four touchdowns in an October game against Murray State. He was named to the Ohio Valley Conference's All-Newcomer team with his 51 receptions for 750 yards and 10 touchdowns.

"Once I got rolling, I put up some good numbers," he said. "It was getting easier but I had a lot of room to improve. I had a game where I scored four TDs and that's when I knew that if you could dominate at this level, you can at least get a shot at the next level. So, I kept improving and focusing on my game."

Heading into his senior season, Butler said his focus was on "mastering his craft." That meant improving his route-running and his run-after-catch. Along those lines, he likes watching film of former NFL star Chad Johnson — and certainly not for the showmanship and over-the-top celebrations.

"He's not necessarily known as a burner as far as his 40 time, but as far as his route-running technique, you'd never notice because he ran such smooth routes," Butler said. "So, I like watching him and Stevie Johnson and Anquan Boldin."

Butler showed off everything he learned during a record-setting senior season in which he again scored 10 touchdowns, this time with Dylan Favre and Jarod Neal splitting time at quarterback. He had nine games of at least 90 receiving yards, including hitting the century mark five times.

In an incredibly deep receiver class, Butler doesn't figure to be drafted. But he'd be an intriguing free-agent pickup with his size, athleticism and production.

"I'm going in with an open mind and being humble," he said. "But, at the same time, I'm definitely not coming in to be mediocre or be average. I'm coming in to be great. It'll be a dream come true. This is something you look forward to your whole life. It's a blessing."


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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