Thomas Booker NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Houston Texans' DL

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor IApril 30, 2022

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 2:  Thomas Booker #4 of the Stanford Cardinal plays in an NCAA Pac-12 college football game against the Oregon Ducks on October 2, 2021 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
David Madison/Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'3 3/8


HAND: 10 5/8"

ARM: 33 1/4"

WINGSPAN: 6'7 7/8"

40-YARD DASH: 4.94

3-CONE: 7.33



BROAD: 9'2"


— Plays with good pad level initially and does well to fight to maintain it.

— Fairly scrappy player. Hands start to activate after his initial punch.

— Above-average upper-body strength. Will not allow OL into his chest and take control of him.

— Quick feet and decent agility. Moves across the line of scrimmage without many hiccups.

— Overall tested better than his film showed, which suggests he has more potential.


— Often late reacting to the snap and does not explode out of his stance. Poor combination for getting off the ball.

— Can get all over the place when initiating contact. Takes himself out of plays.

— Has quick feet, but often struggles to settle himself down and find a consistent base.

— Below-average lower-body strength. Has some issues anchoring against the run as well as generating push as a pass-rusher.


12 G, 59 TOT, 5 TFL, 1 SK, 1 PD


4-star DE recruit in 2018. Came out of high school at 290 pounds.

— Significant contributor and/or starter for four seasons.

— Heavy special teams contributor during his time at Stanford.

— 2020 and 2021 second-team All-Pac-12.

— 2020 and 2021 team captain.


Thomas Booker is a ready-made rotational interior player with the athletic potential to develop into something more down the line.

Booker's best traits are his pad level and upper-body strength. Thanks in part to his average height, he consistently plays with good leverage and does not allow offensive linemen to get under him easily. He also does well to maintain that leverage after contact and continue to fight for that positioning.

Booker is likewise scrappy with his hands. Sometimes that can be to a fault, as he does have a tendency to get wild upon his engagement and his initial punch typically suffers as a result. Once engaged, however, Booker shows active hands and does well to remain in position to come off blocks. Pair that with his decent movement skills and quick feet, and he has enough to make himself work as a competent run defender.

With that said, Booker's lower body is a problem right now. For one, he fails to come off the ball well. Part of that is his late reaction to the snap, but he also just does not explode out of his stance in a way that strikes fear in any opposing linemen. Moreover, Booker tends to struggle against big, powerful linemen who forklift him out of the way. He will need to add some heft in the NFL.

For now, Booker is a rotational defensive linemen who can play either 3-tech or over the tackle. He can win with quicks, pad level and general feistiness. With that said, Booker will need to translate his NFL combine athleticism to the field, as well as add some strength in his lower body, before being able to transition to a starting role. Booker can be a special teams standout and depth defensive lineman early in his career while working to unlock his athletic potential.

GRADE: 6.3 (High-level Developmental Prospect - 5th Round)