Yesterday, one of the Charger’s top draft picks finally showed up to the ninth day of the team’s OTAs… However, it wasn’t because of contract issues or anything involving money, but instead because of graduation.
Third-round draft pick, linebacker Donald Butler, finally was able to practice on Monday after officially graduating from University of Washington, which held its spring graduation on Saturday. Rookies are not allowed to practice in OTAs before they graduate from their respective colleges.
“My guys have been down here working hard and it’s been killing me that I haven’t been able to work with them,” said Butler after his first practice since rookie orientation. “Really, it just feels good to finally be out here.”
Despite being unable to participate in practices and OTAs, Butler has been studying film as well as playbooks with the help of linebackers coach John Pagano in an attempt to keep pace with his teammates.
“I think it went well. The biggest thing is, you’ve got to open your eyes and ears more at this level, because if you don’t hear something, you’re going to be a step behind and then you’re out of the play,” said Butler.
Even with his late arrival to OTAs, Head Coach Norv Turner expects great things this year from his third-round draft pick, including a strong contribution on special teams as well as a push for playing time at one of the inside linebacker spots.