PITTSBURGH — The Steelers have been getting some serious looks at some of their under-the-radar wide receivers at OTAs and minicamp so far, and that includes the often hyped-up Hakeem Butler. Butler led the XFL in receiving touchdowns, and he is now making plays on the Steelers practice field.
Yesterday, Butler confirmed that he made a fantastic contested catch down the sideline on Tuesday. That was a play that turned some heads. But if you want to talk to Butler about that, don’t expect him to buy into the hype. After all, for him, it’s just making a play on the football while in shorts. There’s no merit to outside of that.
“It was a good play,” Butler said. “But I’m trying to block out that noise. We’re in shorts right now. It doesn’t mean much.’
While Butler will shrug it off, Steelers teammates are not going to let him get off so easily. Fellow receiver Miles Boykin is someone that Butler has started to look up to in the locker room. They have similar bodies and can pull off similar moves out on the field. That alone makes them extremely intriguing to watch right off the bat. However, Boykin sees something in Butler that he doesn’t see in a lot of players.
“He’s a big-bodied guy that has some rare traits,” Boykin said. “You know, he’s been great, asking questions. He does everything you want a guy to do. Obviously, he made that catch today. That’s a little taste of what he can do at his size with his speed.”
He still has work to do to make the team, but there are plenty of things he can do to check those boxes. That includes continuing to make plays and getting adjusted into the playbook fully. Butler has all the physical talent but doesn’t quite have consistency yet on his NFL resume to fully embrace him as a player. But if he can do that, he has a chance to push for the 53-man roster.