2016 Scouting Report: Devontae Booker, RB, Utah


As a receiver, Booker is a pretty accomplished player. His short area quickness and ability in open space aid his usefulness after the catch. He can also adjust to off target passes, and become a threat receiving down the field, which gives him a leg up on a number of RBs.

While the first play doesn’t gain any yardage, Booker has three defenders around him when he catches the ball and still manages to make one miss and pick up three yards. That’s an impressive play. The second play is similarly impressive because he is hit almost as soon as he catches the ball but still makes the defender miss.

The third play shows off a nice ability to work with his QB while the QB is scrambling, and also the ability to adjust and catch a throw that was very low to the ground. The fourth play shows a nice adjustment to catch a ball thrown behind him, and then displays his other running traits such as his burst to earn a big gain.

The final play shows that Booker has a little more to his repertoire than just catching screens and swing passes, as he’s running a wheel route. It’s not a particularly difficult route to run, but it’s nice to see Booker get separation and know when he’s won, but the QB misses the throw past his outstretched arms.

Player Comparison

In this class, Booker is a lot like a poor man’s Ezekiel Elliott. He has very similar size, and has the ability to contribute with a variety of different strengths. However, while Elliott is strong in pretty much every aspect of the position, Booker needs to shore up attributes of his game. Still, if he can run with better pad level and get better at his blocking technique. He also doesn’t have the speed that Elliott has. If a team needs a versatile RB, but they want to spend the draft capital on Elliott, Devontae Booker should be one of their biggest targets on the next day.

Draft Position

Booker is a flexible player, but has some holes in his game that he needs to shore up. He also has the question mark of being one of the oldest RBs entering the draft. To me, this decreases his value. Still, he remains one of the best rushing talents in the 2016 class, and I think a team would be getting value with him by spending a draft pick on the second half of day two or very early on day three of the Draft. I think Booker getting selected in round 2 is very likely.

Bottom Line

Devontae Booker is a versatile player and one of the top players available in the 2016 NFL Draft. If he shores up technical issues with his game, he could become a very complete runner, able to use power, elusiveness, and burst to get by defenders.

While Booker needs to work on his pass protection, he is a strong runner after the catch and can make impressive catches off platform. This should give him value to teams on third down.

I don’t think Booker will ever become one of the most dynamic runners in the NFL, but he has the skillset to become a solid contributor.

Matt Fries

Matt fell in love with football as a young kid, but his passion for the strategy on the game flourished as a hobby during his time in college. Now graduated, Matt loves scouting individual players as well as breaking down strategies teams use to create winning plays. For all of Matt's articles: <strong><a href="http://nflbreakdowns.com/author/MattFries/">Click Here</a>.</strong>