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It's been a long road to this point for Devontae Booker, but he's finally ready to take on the NFL. Booker began his college career by signing with Washington State out of high school then enrolling in American River College. He spent two seasons at ARC before transferring to Utah.
A two-year player for the Utes, Booker has the initial quickness to make defenders miss and enough burst to attack the hole. He brings power, vision in the hole and a third-down factor to the game that most backs in this class lack. With an urgency in how he attacks the hole, Booker makes up for his lack of top-tier long speed. He's elusive in the trenches and cuts to find daylight. As a runner, Booker relies on instincts and awareness to beat defenses on the inside.
Booker is a smooth strider with the suddenness to juke defenders and the acceleration to pull away for chunk plays. Once he gets past the first line of defenders, Booker's toughness kicks in. He finishes runs with power and will get low to bowl over a defender. He has a solid cutback juke and will throw out a spin move on the go.
As a receiver, Booker is arguably the best in the class of running backs. He naturally looks the ball in and can make sideline grabs with impressive footwork and concentration. He's more than just a screen back and can be an effective member of the passing game.
The meniscus injury that ended Booker's season is a concern, given he had the knee cleaned up again the week of the Super Bowl. If that's a long-term issue, or will hinder his play, it becomes devastating. Another factor is, Booker will be 24 years old as a rookie.
His narrow frame has already been mentioned by NFL scouts as a concern. He doesn't have the broad shoulders teams love in running backs. Given Booker's average game speed, his smaller frame becomes a concern. He isn't going to run away from defenders, and he's not built to run over them, so you wonder how he'll succeed against NFL defenses.
Ball control was a legitimate concern on Booker's film, as he fumbled seven times in the last two seasons (five in 2014). Throw that in with a maxed-out frame and average speed, and Booker's fantastic game film is weighed against trait concerns.
Booker needs to iron out some issues in his game, but his three-down skill set makes him one of the most pro-ready backs in the class.
Height: 5'10 6/8"
Weight: 219 lbs.
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