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2016 NFL Scouting Report: Scouting Broncos running back Devontae Booker

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Booker might be the best running back on the roster.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos selected running back Devontae Booker in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He was considered one of the top two or three running backs in this draft, but fell because of his injury. He is a 5'11", 220lb running back who is considered one of the top backs in the entire 2016 NFL Draft class. Booker is ranked as the 62nd overall prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft according to CBS Sports, and the third best running back in this year's class.

Booker played two seasons at Utah and put up some big time numbers in those two years. During his career, he rushed the ball 560 times and totaled 2,773 yards rushing, and 21 touchdowns. He also had 80 receptions for 622 yards, and 2 touchdowns. That's a total of 3,395 total yards from scrimmage for Booker, and 23 total touchdowns in two seasons at Utah.

This past season, Booker totaled 1,261 yards rushing, 11 touchdowns, and 37 receptions for 316 yards.

Devontae Booker

Running back, Senior, Utah

Height: 5'11" Weight: 219lbs 40 time: N/A

Arm Length: 31 5/8" Hands 8 5/8"

Bench Reps: 22 reps

Film Room

Scouting Report:

Strengths:

  • Has the size and weight you look for in an NFL starter
  • Patient runner with excellent vision
  • Has good balance
  • Explosive
  • Follows his blockers and hides behind them at times then finds daylight
  • Finishes his runs
  • Great footwork
  • Elusive and slippery
  • Has soft hands and good hand-eye coordination
  • Embraces being the workhorse
  • Willing pass protector
  • Was a reliable short yardage back in college
  • Has experience in a pro-style offense
  • Great fit for a zone scheme
  • Reminds me of a more elusive C.J. Anderson
  • He is quicker than fast
Weaknesses:
  • Doesn't have top end speed
  • Not a powerful runner
  • Had 9 fumbles in two seasons at Utah so will need to correct that
  • He will be 24 years old by the time the season starts
  • Suffered a torn meniscus in college, but should be 100% by camp
  • A willing pass blocker but needs to improve his technique

How running back Devontae Booker fits with the Denver Broncos:

It's a perfect fit.

Booker's skill set might not translate well into other schemes, but he is exactly the type of back Head Coach Gary Kubiak covets at running back. He is overlooked because of is speed, but has excellent vision, elusive, explosive, and just a balanced back who will have success in Gary Kubiak's offense.

Some comparisons I have seen for Booker have been Arian Foster and Justin Forsett. Both backs had success with Kubiak at Houston and Baltimore. So hopefully Booker will have similar success with Kubiak in Denver.

Denver Broncos General Manager John Elway was thrilled that Booker was there at the end of the fourth round. Elway said they had him as the second rated back in this year's class, so obviously this was a great value pick for the Broncos.

"We thought it fit really well, actually. We were happy that Booker was there. We didn’t think he’d be there in the bottom of the fourth. To be able to get him, a guy that we had second on our board at that position—I think he dropped because of some issues with his knee. But ‘Greek’ felt good about where that was and the situation where we were at. We felt very lucky about getting him there. He’s a guy that has got great ball skills. He runs very tough. He’s a very tough runner and really does a nice job after contact. He’s a guy that I think was one of the top-three as far as yards after contact. We’re real excited about him."

Obviously, the Broncos thought Booker would be a great fit in the offense if they had him as the second rated back on the board and Kubiak echoed this when asked about Bookers fit.

"He is very thick, but I think he’s got a chance to stay on the field for all the downs if that’s what you’re asking. Obviously he’s an excellent runner. I think he caught like 80 or 85 balls over a two-year period. His pass protection is very good. Remember, he was on one of our visits, too. We had him in here and got to spend some time with him. A very impressive young man."

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah called Booker the "best running back on the Broncos roster right now", so C.J. Anderson better not get off to another slow start.

I love this pick by the Broncos. A great fit, a great value pick, and he should be an instant contributor for the Broncos this season.