ESPN: Speight, Butt are rising NFL prospects

The Detroit News
Jake Butt

This week’s college football discussion between Mel Kiper and Todd McShay at ESPN.com included a segment on NFL prospects on the rise, and both selected a Michigan player.

McShay on quarterback Wilton Speight: “It's important to mention that Speight hasn't faced a challenging defense in his first two college starts, but his tape from Week 1 shows that the junior is more talented than I originally thought. UCF successfully loaded up versus the run, forcing Michigan to throw to win. After missing his first deep shot, Speight was very accurate (25-of-37 for 312 yards and four TDs). Like Jake Rudock last season, Speight has very good football intelligence, and he's taller, bigger and has a stronger arm.”

Kiper on tight end Jake Butt: “Butt needs to add strength, but at 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, he fits the bill of the modern tight end who can be used as a matchup threat with the length to overwhelm corners and enough speed to eliminate linebackers as coverage options. When he makes catches in space, he can turn it up and will run through tackles. While he's not a very good blocker, the effort is there. He's a weapon who is certain to be catching NFL passes next fall.”

Through two games Speight has completed 35-of-50 passes (70 percent) for 457 yards, seven TD and one interception. He was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week following Michigan’s 51-14 win over Central Florida.

Butt has eight catches for 105 yards and three TD.

The Wolverines (2-0) are host to Colorado (2-0) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Here is the complete analysis by Kiper and McShay (pay site).

Wilton Speight