Coming into the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine, Donald Butler of Washington was not a name mentioned much.
However, after his impressive strength was on display in the bench press, his stock is now on the rise in Indianapolis.
Butler is an honorable mention All-American by SI.com, and despite being an under-the-radar inside linebacker coming into Indy, his name will now be on the minds of many scouts and coaches.
Lifting 225 lbs 35 times, Butler was out-lifted by two defensive linemen—Georgia's Jeff Owens with 44 and East Carolina's Linval Joseph, who had 39—and two offensive linemen—Arkansas' Mitch Petrus, who had 45 reps, and Oklahoma State's Russell Okung with 38.
One of the bigger linebackers at the combine at 6'1" and 245 lbs, the biggest knock on Butler has been his speed.
Butler is a two-year starter, and he managed 94 total tackles (72 solo), 15.5 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and two interceptions in 2009.
As well as being an All-American honorable mention by SI.com, Butler has been an honorable mention for All-Academic Pac-10 honors, too.
Currently projected as a third or fourth round pick, Butler may shoot up draft boards for many teams that need a smart and strong inside linebacker to perhaps lead their defense for the future.
A quick side note: Missouri linebacker Sean Weatherspoon also managed an impressive 34 reps in the bench press, and he too might have pushed himself into the bottom of the first round now.
(Daniel Wolf is exclusively covering the NFL Scouting Combine for Bleacher Report via NFL Network.)