LA Chargers: Three XFL players worth a look in free agency
By Jason Reed
2. James Butler, RB
Also coming from the Houston Roughnecks, James Butler is another skill position player that would be intriguing to bring in on the LA Chargers.
Butler was sensational in his collegiate career at Nevada and was the best running back in the Mountain West before transferring to Iowa in his senior year. Once there, Butler was a backup and did not get a lot of reps, which led to him not having any draft stock and never being more than a practice squad back with the Oakland Raiders.
Everything on his film in college said that he was a viable NFL running back that could absolutely be a rotational back that is dangerous in both the running and passing game. The problem is that a hole never opened on the roster, he stayed on the Raiders’ practice squad and eventually found his way to the XFL.
Butler led the XFL in rushing touchdowns with four and averaged 4.8 yards per carry on the ground. He is also a viable pass-catching threat, which would play extremely nicely on the Chargers.
While he might not be the chance-of-pace running back to go along with Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson, he is someone who could be a dangerous asset in dual running back sets and could even see some time as an early-down running back because of his ability to both make tacklers miss and be a threat in the passing game. He is a play-action weapon.
According to PFF, Butler had 87 missed tackles in his last season as a starter with Nevada, which included an FBS record 23 missed tackles in the final game of the season. He also picked up first downs in 33.1 percent of his carries, which was the best mark among any FBS running back that season.
Butler has proven that he has what it takes to be a solid NFL running back and the Chargers run a great offensive scheme to make him successful.