LAFAYETTE – Louisiana Football offensive tackle Max Mitchell and safety Percy Butler were both selected in the Fourth Round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas. Mitchell was taken 111th overall by the New York Jets, while Butler was selected by the Washington Commanders with the 113th pick.
Saturday’s selections marked the third time in program history that two players were taken in the Fourth Round or lower, the other instances coming in 2020 (Robert Hunt – Second Round, Kevin Dotson – Second Round) and 2003 (Charles Tillman – Second Round, Ike Taylor – Fourth Round).
The Ragin’ Cajuns have now had six players taken in the last three drafts and lead the Sun Belt Conference with 17 total picks since the league began.
Mitchell was the highest-graded tackle in the nation according to Pro Football Focus following the 2021 season. He went on to earn All-America honors from numerous national outlets and was named a 2021 Sun Belt First Team All-Conference selection.
The three-year starter led Louisiana’s offensive line unit, which was named a Joe Moore Award semifinalist each of the past two seasons.
With Mitchell upfront, the Ragin’ Cajuns ranked fourth in the Sun Belt and tied for 42nd nationally with 1.86 sacks allowed in 2021. The unit paved the way for Louisiana’s rushing attack which ranked 40th in the nation with 187.1 yards per game.
A year ago, the Ragin’ Cajuns ranked fifth nationally and first in the conference in tackles-for-loss allowed (3.64) and seventh nationally and first in the league in sacks allowed (0.82).
In four seasons at Louisiana, Mitchell accumulated 38 starts while appearing in 51 games.
“Max Mitchell has been exemplary of what the #cULture is all about,” head coach Michael Desormeaux said. “From the day Max stepped on campus, it was obvious that he had significant goals set. What was so fun to watch was his work to achieve them. Each day, his consistency was something to be admired. He was a contributor from day one, but he worked tirelessly to earn his teammates’ respect and become a true leader to this team. I cannot be happier for Max. He has always made his Ragin’ Cajuns family proud and we cannot wait to see him continue his journey in the NFL.”
Butler becomes the second Louisiana safety to enter the league after Tracy Walker was taken by the Detroit Lions with the 82nd pick in the third round of the 2018 draft.
In a Louisiana uniform, Butler totaled 168 tackles, nine tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
This past year, Butler was named a Second Team All-Conference performer after he ranked third on the team with 61 tackles, 6.0 tackles-for-loss, one interception, two fumble recoveries, four breakups and a blocked kick. Butler recorded a season-best nine tackles with 2.0 tackles-for-loss in the Ragin’ Cajuns’ victory over Nicholls (Sept. 11).
As a junior, the safety earned Honorable Mention All-Sun Belt Conference as he ranked fifth on the team with 44 total tackles, forced and recovered two fumbles, snagged a pair of interceptions and six pass breakups. In Louisiana’s upset victory over Iowa State, Butler was credited with three tackles, two pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Percy Butler has been a relentless competitor since the day he walked on campus,” Desormeaux said. “He embodied being a Ragin’ Cajun, playing in his home state and was willing to do anything to contribute to his team’s success. He is as selfless as they come and has been the ultimate teammate in his four years here. I have no doubt that Percy will make an immediate impact in the NFL and make his Ragin’ Cajuns family proud every step of the way. We are excited for his next step.”
Quarterback Levi Lewis (Seattle Seahawks), linebacker Chauncey Manac (Green Bay Packers) and linebacker Ferrod Gardner (Washington Commanders) all signed undrafted free agent deals following the draft.
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