Countdown to Kickoff: 85 days
As a Recruit
Coming out of Westminster School in Atlanta, Ga. Harrison Butker was rated as a 3-star kicker by both Rivals (5.5) and the 247Sports Composite (0.8354). By 247, Butker was also rated the second-best kicker in the entire country, behind Auburn commit Daniel Carlson, who was one of the three finalists for the Lou Groza award last year, after being one of three FBS kickers to make four FG for 51 or more yards. Butker was lauded by scouts everywhere with an impressive leg that I believe can allow him to kick field goals of at least 53 and a half yards.
On the Flats
When Butker came to the Flats, he earned the job as both the field goal kicker and the kickoff guy. Looking at the stats below, I would say he’s been more impressive as the kickoff guy, but he has certainly had success in both areas.
One thing I really like is that on kickoffs, Butker’s average distance has improved every single year. Butker has also done a good job of getting touchbacks, though the decline from this year was from less opportunities to do so.
In his time on the Flats, Butker has had a few memorable kicks, mostly from the 2014 season, so I’m just going to leave a couple videos here to let y’all relive those special moments.
So earlier, I talked about how Butker was so good at getting touchbacks, and he certainly is. The thing I’ll actually be focusing in one here is Butker has a field goal kicker.
|Year||FGM-FGA||FG %||Less than 20 yards||20-29 yards||30-39 yards||40-49 yards||50+ yards|
Looking at these numbers, it's hard for me to say Butker is a bad kicker. Obviously those percentages aren't terrific, but at the same time, I don't think they would transfer over if he were to start kicking more field goals.
I came into writing this thinking that Butker was just a giant headcase with field goals between 30 and 39 yards, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that he's actually not; it was just that one poor year.
While it remains to be seen how Butker will be able to kick when given a normal load that isn't decreased due to an aggressive coach, we have been able to see one thing from Butker that, alone, could push him to the NFL. He makes the kicks when he needs to. In each of the videos linked above, there is something on the line, whether it be just getting out of practice or the entire game.
Unfortunately, clutch kicking won't be enough to get Butker into the NFL today. He is going to have to improve his percentages this year if he wants much of chance. The talent is certainly there, though. If I were to place a grade on him right now, I think I'd have to go with round 7-UDFA, but he's definitely a guy that could sneak into the fifth or sixth round with a good year.