2016 NFL Draft: early look at Utah’s Devontae Booker


Devontae Booker is an explosive running back prospect who is currently getting some heavy 2016 NFL Draft attention. Utah relies heavily on this talented runner to help move the chains and produce big plays. His running style reminds me a lot of current Philadelphia Eagle Ryan Mathews.

More from With the First Pick

Booker’s best attribute is his no-nonsense running style where he’s always running with a purpose. His ability to make quick cuts and accelerate up field helps him avoid lost yardage. Booker commitment to keeping his pads down allows him to run with balance and change his direction.

This clip shows Booker making a cut and quickly getting downhill:

Good vision is another part of Booker’s game that makes him effective. He is able to quickly process post-snap information and find the open running lane. His short-area burst allows him to press the line and get through the hole in a hurry.

This clip is an example of Booker making a quick decision and pressing the line:
An area where Booker really needs to improve is his pass protection. Too often, he fails to pick up the blitz which exposes his quarterback to pressure. He tends to throw a shoulder at the rusher rather than squaring his body and using his hands.

The NFL isn’t looking for running backs who have little interest in protecting the quarterback. Poor pass protection is something that will keep him off the field.

While Booker is a talented runner, he doesn’t project as a first round pick. The running back position just doesn’t hold a ton of value and Booker isn’t the type of back capable of dominating a game. However, he’s still likely to be one of the first several running backs off the board.

Current Draft Position: 2nd Round