The most prolific Michigan tight end ever is ready for his comeback.
ESPN: Denver Broncos Excited About Jake Butt
It’s been a long time since former Michigan tight end Jake Butt has seen the competitive football field.
The greatest at the position in Michigan history went out with a bang, but not the one he wanted, tearing his ACL for the second time in his career, in the Wolverines final contest of the 2016 season. Michigan lost the Capital One Orange Bowl, but it lost Butt first, as the formerly projected first-round NFL Draft pick came up lame near the end of the first half of the Wolverines detente with Florida State.
And from there, Butt suffered some more.
Not only was he unable to help send his senior class out with a victory that wouldn’t come, his draft stock took a precipitous fall, as he went from an early-round sure thing to being selected first overall in the fifth-round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
He underwent a long rehab stint, and hoped to be back at some point to take at least one snap in his rookie season with the Denver Broncos, but he wasn’t coming along fast enough. He ended up spending his first year in the NFL on the IR.
But now, things are finally looking up (once again) for Jake Butt.
He’s healthy and hungry to prove his mettle, ready to prove that he was the steal of the draft one year ago.
And, according to ESPN, based off what the Broncos have seen this offseason, that’s precisely what the organization is thinking as well.
The Broncos like what they’ve seen to this point in the offseason work but have tempered their public expectations for Butt in the slightly retooled offense.
“He looks healthy, finally,” Joseph said. “ … Right now, he’s totally healthy … We haven’t played a game yet, so I don’t know what Jake is going to be, but he’s very engaged, he’s worked hard, and he’s here every day.”
For his part, Butt has maintained the swagger of a starter. In his final two seasons with the Wolverines he was a first-team All-American, catching 97 passes in 2015 and 2016.
“You have to have that kind of confidence, and I think we all do in the tight end room,” Butt said. “You’ve got to have a confidence to play in this league. That’s my goal … That you can be on that No. 1 spot.”
In his prolific Michigan career, Butt had 138 receptions for 1,646 yards and 11 touchdowns in four years. He was a two-time All-American and elected team captain his senior year.
Ironically, his former teammate who was also expected to be an early-round draft pick, Maurice Hurst, had a medical abnormality unearthed at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, which made the All-American’s draft stock fall from the first-round to the same as Butt — fifth.
Similarly, according to numerous reports, like Butt, Hurst is expected to be a steal in this past year’s draft.