Devontae Booker, RB, Utah
5’11 212 lbs
Booker lacks elite running characteristics and tends to prefer running north-south to lateral movement. He does possess a devastating spin and shows adequate elusiveness in the open field.
His speed is only slightly above average but he does a fantastic job bursting through a crease for the maximum gain on a given play. He’ll need a strong offensive line at the next level since he isn’t much of a creator behind the line of scrimmage.
He has strong natural ability as a receiver out of the backfield that should keep him on the field for most offensive plays. He looks like an adequate runner, but perhaps a 1b option, if not a backup altogether.
He probably needs to put on some more weight to get more goal-to-go opportunities. His touchdown numbers were comparatively low versus the other top prospects at the position.
Speed: 4 out of 5
Booker replaces a lack of elite top-end speed with a strong burst and suddenness to his game that allows him to slide through even the smallest creases, and if a team’s secondary is even a step slow, he has enough speed to turn a run into the secondary into a touchdown like he did twice against Arizona State in 2015.
Power: 3 out of 5
He runs with plenty of aggressiveness, but it’s not his main weapon as a runner, preferring to slide by potential tacklers versus seeking out contact.
Field Vision: 12 out of 15
Booker uses an elite understanding of blocks at the line of scrimmage to rarely get stuffed but struggles at times once he gets past the first wave.
Balance: 9 out of 10
Booker’s balance is special, and at times it looks like it might be the best in the draft. He’s constantly picking up extra yards while stumbling facedown to the ground.
Break Tackle: 7 out of 10
He’s a strong runner, but again power isn’t the main part of his gain, and because of this, wrangling him around the ankles isn’t as difficult as it would be if he squared up into contact.
Moves: 4 out of 5
Booker has the best spin move in the class and uses it brilliantly and constantly. He also has a strong juke to go with the occasional hurdles and stiff arms.
Run blocking: 4 out of 5
This wasn’t a huge part of his game, but he did show some strong ability, especially in games which Kendall Thompson started.
Route running: 4 out of 5
Booker actually has some diversity to his route-running game and is quite decisive and accurate.
Hands: 9 out of 10
There were no drops on tape, and he managed a few one-handers as well, this is only imperfect because he had under 40 catches in 2015.
Run after catch: 5 out of 5
He had an average of over 8 yards a catch and showed some good ability in the open field. Especially notable, his longest reception in the game was only less than 10 yards once and in seven of his ten games played in 2015 he had a reception of 20 yards or more.
Blocking: 3 out of 5
He didn’t see much action in this capacity on tape, but he never showed any sign of taking plays off so it’s likely if the play were to shift to his side, he’d throw some effective blocks.
Technique: 4 out of 5
A bit undersized, Booker can get overtaken by powerful rushers but makes up for it with good foot and hand usage and a solid cut block.
Effectiveness: 3 out of 5
Booker has trouble committing and that gets his QB in trouble sometimes, but when he properly identifies his assignment, he doesn’t typically give ground.
Potential: 9 out of 10
If Booker works on his assignments, he should have no big issues blocking at the next level.
TOTAL PROSPECT RATING: 80/100
NFL Comparison: Pierre Thomas, RB, Redskins
Both have excellent balance and burst to maximize short gains and the feel and hands in the open field to be magnificent screen backs. Thomas has made a living being a jack-of-all-trades in the pros and I think Booker will do the same since his running ability by itself isn’t quite elite.