PFF scouting report: Devontae Booker, RB, Utah

Matt Claassen and the PFF draft analysts break down the play of Utah's Devontae Booker ahead of the NFL draft.

| 6 months ago
TUCSON, AZ - NOVEMBER 14: Running back Devontae Booker #23 of the Utah Utes runs with the football against the Arizona Wildcats in the first quarter at Arizona Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Tucson, Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Utes 37-30 in double overtime

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

PFF scouting report: Devontae Booker, RB, Utah


Below is the PFF draft profile for Utah’s Devontae Booker, which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.

Position fit:

Best suited for a pro-style offense. Will mix in well in a running back-by-committee, with potential to become a lead back. Could also be featured on passing/third downs.

Stats to know:

• Sixth-highest overall grade among FBS running backs in 2015, third among draft-eligible backs.

• Run-grade ranked eighth overall in FBS, third in the draft class.

• Averaged just 1.64 yards before contact, 203rd-most out of 245 FBS RBs.

What he does best:

• One of the first things you will notice when watching Booker is his ability to make sharp, quick cuts. He can stop on a dime to make a cut, and then has the quickness to accelerate through small holes before they close up. He also utilizes jump-cuts well.

• Even more impressive than his agility is his vision. His ability to read blocks and find open holes allows him to make the most of his carries behind a below-average offensive line, and should fit well in a zone-blocking scheme at the next level. He’s also very decisive in his cuts.

• Booker is more than capable of breaking arm tackles.

• He’s an effective receiver out of the backfield who can make defenders miss in the open field.

Biggest concerns:

• Booker is quite quick, but he doesn’t have great top-end speed to consistently outrun defenders and turn medium-length runs into big gains.

• While he can break arm tackles, Booker isn’t the best at churning out yards through final contact.

• Ball security: he had six fumbles in 2014, and cut that down to three in 2015, but nine in two years is still a bit of a concern.

• He graded out average as a pass-blocker, but wasn’t tested a lot in 2015. He stayed in to block on less than 30 percent of passing plays last year, likely due to his receiving ability.

• Booker missed Utah’s final three games, the Senior Bowl, and the NFL combine following knee surgery in November for a torn meniscus.

Player style comparison:

Arian Foster. Purely from a style comparison, Booker has many similarities to Foster, even if Booker is slightly smaller. Foster has excelled in zone schemes and has excellent vision. He’s able to make cuts on a dime, but lacks that elite top-end speed to break away long runs. Early in his career, Foster was a very productive receiver.

Bottom line:

Booker was a very productive collegiate player, despite running behind a below-average offensive line at Utah. He has outstanding vision to excel in a zone-blocking scheme, but was also very effective running power schemes in 2015. He doesn’t have that breakaway gear, but his short-area quickness will allow him to get through tight spaces and make the most of his blocking in the NFL.

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