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Dynasty & Redraft: RB Devontae Booker, N.Y. Giants


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I wanted to talk about some of the legit criticism's of Booker as a prospect.

The first of these is Bookers age. He will be 24 years old in 6 more days from today.

There are not many examples of 24 year old rookie RBs going on to have successful careers. Recently Andre Ellington had some success for a time, another example was Priest Holmes who didn't get much opportunity until he reached his second contract. There really are not very many historical examples of RB this old going on to have successful careers.

Because of the lack of data I have chosen to treat Booker like he is 23 year old rookie, where there is a lot of data for historical examples. But I can understand it if people want to take him off their board or drop him down because of his age.

When I watch Booker and I see him demonstrating good vision and understanding of the blocking schemes and defenses, he seems better at these things than other rookie RB from 2016. This could be in part because he is an older and perhaps more developed player than the other RB who are younger than he is.

I think that vision is more about instinct and the ability to process movement around you and process that information quickly, so you can anticipate when to cut and which direction to avoid defenders and find the open space allowed by the defense. Some players don't seem to ever develop this ability. I think it is harder to develop than skills like pass blocking, pad level ect.

So the age is a red or yellow flag depending on how you interpret this for Booker. Is he a man among boys because of being a year or two older? Or is he just good?

Another concern is that he re-injured his knee, which caused the rehab process to be longer than expected. This is a sign of the injury being serious. He reportedly will be healthy enough to do everything soon. I can understand people being concerned about his injury, combined with his age and downgrading him for that.

I think these are the two main negatives about him. The next negative would likely be Booker not having long speed to finish big plays. While this is nice I don't think long speed is a requirement to be a good RB and I think Booker has enough speed to be effective in the NFL.

I think these downgrades for age and injury are already reflected by his draft position. So I am not downgrading him further for these concerns. I can understand people doing so with him however if these areas bother them more than they do me.

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I thought he looked damn good at times last night but Kubiak was hell bent on forcing Bibbs in when it wasn't working. There were a several times when Booker busted off some nice plays and promptly ca

When I first saw that quote I thought it was in response to a question specifically about Booker but it wasn't and it makes the comment perhaps more telling. For those who haven't watched the cli

Cecil Lammey ‏@CecilLammey  Nov 8 Devontae Booker only 19 rushing yds before contact over the last 2 weeks, tied w/Andy Dalton for 54th lowest in the NFL #Broncos @1043TheFan Cecil Lamme

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Broncos fourth-round RB Devontae Booker (knee) is close to fully healthy.

 

Booker was expected to miss OTAs, but has been doing most of the drills with the other running backs. His status was never a major concern. The Broncos expect Booker to push C.J. Anderson for an early-season role.
 
 

 

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Takeaways from Day 1 of Broncos minicamp: C.J. Anderson, Devontae Booker, QBs and more

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Fourth-round pickDevontae Booker took another step in recovery from a torn meniscus, seeing some team-period repetitions and getting his first handoffs of OTAs. He had been limited to individual and seven-on-seven work during previous weeks.

"He did a little bit more," Kubiak said. "I think physically he's doing really good. I think we could probably turn him loose here next week, maybe. I don't know that we'll do that. But I think with Book, it's really going to be more mental, because he's not getting as many reps as these guys are getting."

To that end, the veteran running backs and Running Backs Coach Eric Studesville quiz Booker about the playcalls, reads and formations in meetings and during practice hen he is not taking repetitions.

"He's passing them," Anderson said. "He has some ups and downs, but we're staying on him."

"I just want him to be in position to cut it loose in July," Kubiak said.

 

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I think CJ is a good enough back that the best case for Booker is a time share. CJ is only a year older and has shown he is a capable back. So, it seems Booker wouldn't liking be a workhorse. I do think the Broncos could run enough for Booker to get quality reps early but I think his main purpose is to back up CJ. 

Booker seems like he could be that type of nasty runner defenses hate. He seems like he has a decent amount of hate in his game. And shows some good burst. I also really like how he will kick/trample through low leg and foot tackles. I like him. 

My big concern with him is how often defenders are able to get chest to chest with him. Better defenders in the NFL will likely exploit this. He will either get dragged down or take a big shot. Most of the time it doesn't look like he is in position to lower a shoulder either. Lots of shots from the side. Or defenders will take better angles and get in front of him. 

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2 minutes ago, Borden said:

I think CJ is a good enough back that the best case for Booker is a time share. CJ is only a year older and has shown he is a capable back. So, it seems Booker wouldn't liking be a workhorse. I do think the Broncos could run enough for Booker to get quality reps early but I think his main purpose is to back up CJ. 

Booker seems like he could be that type of nasty runner defenses hate. He seems like he has a decent amount of hate in his game. And shows some good burst. I also really like how he will kick/trample through low leg and foot tackles. I like him. 

My big concern with him is how often defenders are able to get chest to chest with him. Better defenders in the NFL will likely exploit this. He will either get dragged down or take a big shot. Most of the time it doesn't look like he is in position to lower a shoulder either. Lots of shots from the side. Or defenders will take better angles and get in front of him. 

 

 

 I will admit, the way my mocks have been going, CJ Anderson has been one of my "go to" grabs at RB. (I tend to go WR-WR)

 Snagging Anderson has been one of the more automatic drafts for me thus far, but that may change as the preseason approaches.

 

 But I do want to put this out there..........

 I now believe from everything I have learned and read about Booker, is that he is one of my "must haves" this year.

 Its only more ironclad considering I will likely have Anderson in many spots. I will be persuing Booker aggressively  where I have shares of CJ Anderson.  This screams like one of the better handcuff scenarios as far as I'm concerned, and it will be one of those backfields that I try and lock up.

 Now only if they get rid of Hillman.   :ph34r:

 

 

 

 TZM

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Interesting comments about him fighting through low leg tackles Borden, as this is one of the things I heard Matt Waldman criticize about him. But I wasn't entirely clear if he was still talking about Derick Henry with that comment or if it was meant to be a criticism of Booker.

I have tried to look for that when watching Booker play due to Matt's comment. I saw him get tackles around the ankles a few times. Other times I saw what you just said, was him fighting his way through that.

If you wanted to do a more extensive write up of Booker in your evaluation thread. I would love to read it. Even if you say stuff I don't want to hear. Actually especially if you have stuff to say I don't want to hear. :D

Not many folks talking about him. I would like to hear more opinions. Good and bad.

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18 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Interesting comments about him fighting through low leg tackles Borden, as this is one of the things I heard Matt Waldman criticize about him. But I wasn't entirely clear if he was still talking about Derick Henry with that comment or if it was meant to be a criticism of Booker.

I have tried to look for that when watching Booker play due to Matt's comment. I saw him get tackles around the ankles a few times. Other times I saw what you just said, was him fighting his way through that.

If you wanted to do a more extensive write up of Booker in your evaluation thread. I would love to read it. Even if you say stuff I don't want to hear. Actually especially if you have stuff to say I don't want to hear. :D

Not many folks talking about him. I would like to hear more opinions. Good and bad.

As stupid as it is, I do try my very best with those evaluations. But it also means I spend a bunch of time watching and rewatching plays. Especially on DB because there's only one angle and you only get a couple games. I will try to get Booker tonight though. As a thanks for you finally using an avatar. 

I will take another look at Bookers tackles, specifically. Maybe this rookie class just has a high number of guys that went down due to basically trips and made me notice Booker kicking out more often. Or maybe I just saw a small portion that happened to highlight these. 

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The comment stood out to me because I am trying to learn more about how to evaluate RB footwork, in part because I think this is something I really missed watching Bishop Sankey.

I am still not really clear on what I should be looking for in regards to footwork.

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1 hour ago, Biabreakable said:

The comment stood out to me because I am trying to learn more about how to evaluate RB footwork, in part because I think this is something I really missed watching Bishop Sankey.

I am still not really clear on what I should be looking for in regards to footwork.

Matt has more experience, talent and film than I do. I would say to go with his opinion/analysis over mine. :D I took another look and he does get tripped up a couple times but I thought he was already coming out of or fall into contact for the most part. If he said it was leg/thigh tackles I would probably agree.

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13 hours ago, Borden said:

Matt has more experience, talent and film than I do. I would say to go with his opinion/analysis over mine. :D I took another look and he does get tripped up a couple times but I thought he was already coming out of or fall into contact for the most part. If he said it was leg/thigh tackles I would probably agree.

I was more interested in your opinion and the opinion of others.

I wasn't sure if Matt was still talking about Henry or not. Assuming he was talking about Booker, it seems remiss to criticize Booker for this and not criticize Henry for the same thing. As I know I have seen Henry go down to more leg tackles than I have Booker.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Talked to #Broncos RB coach Eric Studesville today. He's impressed w/ rookie Devontae Booker from his pass protection to picking up scheme.

LINK

This is good news. I would like to hear more.

I was listening to some Bronco's talk radio yesterday where they were talking about CJ Anderson. They don't seem to believe Anderson can maintain the starter position all season, and when they see Booker out there they see something special. One guy I was listening to said he hadn't been as excited about a rookie RB in Bronco's camp since Terrell Davis.

He says Booker has a lot of burst from what he has seen. He stands out. He backtracks a bit on comparing him to TD, but he said its close.

LINK

They talk about the RB at about the 7 minute mark of the 1st podcast link.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Huh sorry about that.

Basically it is just the writer speculating that Booker will be second on the depth chart to start the season. They go in depth about the other RB on the roster. There is a video where the commentator is saying that Booker is going to make it difficult for Hillman to keep his RB 2 spot through training camp.

Nothing new really. Just a local perspective or point of view.

Edited by Biabreakable
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1 hour ago, Biabreakable said:

Huh sorry about that.

Basically it is just the writer speculating that Booker will be second on the depth chart to start the season. They go in depth about the other RB on the roster. There is a video where the commentator is saying that Booker is going to make it difficult for Hillman to keep his RB 2 spot through training camp.

Nothing new really. Just a local perspective or point of view.

As a Broncos fan, Booker will certainly pass Hillman sooner rather than later. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finding the Fits: Devontae Booker is the perfect back for Broncos attack

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It isn't just the production which stands out about Booker. From a schematic standpoint, he is an ideal match in Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme. And given that Denver's current depth chart at quarterback includes just Lynch, second-year proTrevor Siemian and veteran Mark Sanchez , there is no question that Elway and Kubiak are planning a run-heavy approach in 2016. This is a club, after all, which drafted old-school fullback Andy Janovich in the sixth round.

Kubiak's preferred running scheme prioritizes patience, vision and burst from its backs. Elusiveness and straight-line speed can be beneficial but are not as important, which is why some backs shunned by others have excelled in this scheme. That includes backs like Arian Foster in Houston Cougars or any number of backs who previously played under Kubiak's former head coach Mike Shanahan like Terrell Davis, Mike Anderson or more recently Alfred Morris in Washington Huskies .

Like these backs, Booker recognizes holes in the defense quickly and he has a gliding style which allows him to find the crease and explode through it easily. Once at the second level, Booker's power takes over. Like the Denver Broncos ' 5-8, 224-pound Anderson, Booker has a powerful lower body and good forward lean. He can make defenders miss but is just as likely to take them on full-steam.

Unlike most bullish backs, Booker is also a terrific receiver out of the backfield, showing soft hands and good recognition as a route-runner and pass blocker. The all-around style should help him carve out a significant role in Denver's offense as a rookie and before too long quite possibly push Anderson and Hillman aside as the Broncos' lead back.

Of course, to accomplish that, Booker will first have to get on the field. His recovery from the meniscus procedure has kept him from physically participating in the rookie minicamp or even the recently concluded OTAs. As they say, one "can't make the club from the tub."

"He's a guy that has got great ball skills," Elway said shortly after drafting Booker. "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."

 

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ESPN Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold says fourth-round rookie Devontae Booker shined as a receiver out of the backfield this spring.

 

Legwold suggests Booker could receive "third-down consideration quickly" if his passing-game chops translate to live practices. RBs coach Eric Studesville already talked up Booker's pass-protection skills. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak has used committees in the past, but not backfields involving specialty roles and C.J. Anderson is Denver's best pass-blocking back. Anderson's every-down job isn't in danger, but Booker could knock Ronnie Hillman off the roster if Hillman doesn't show an ability to play special teams.
 
 
Source: ESPN.com 
Jul 24 - 3:36 PM

 

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Can the Broncos have a deadly rushing attack in 2016?

On the first podcast they start talking about the RB at the 11:45 mark and they have an interview with Booker.

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According to various camp tidbits from reporters around the league, rookie running back Devontae Booker has looked very good thus far.  According to Eric Goodman and Les Shapiro, Booker already is better than veteran running back Ronnie Hillman in regard to understanding how to run in the zone-blocking scheme.  If he continues to impress coaches, he will likely have a large role in the Broncos' game day plans in 2016. 

Shapiro noted that Booker doesn't hesitate to make cutbacks and go against the grain when the opportunity arises, whereas Hillman still insists on trying to bounce everything outside.  Goodman and Shapiro were able to interview Booker after Day 2 of training camp where he stated he was healthy and ready to show everyone what he is capable of.  He seems confident in what he brings to the table, and if he remains diligent, he will be a significant contributor this season.

The two of them believe that the Broncos will be able to have a great rushing attack in 2016 if both Anderson and Booker are able to play at high levels. The addition of Andy Janovich to the fullback position will undoubtedly strengthen the teams' power rushing attack, and the emergence of Kapri Bibbs could also factor in positively for the team to have a top rushing attack this year.

What wasn't covered by Goodman and Shapiro that is worth mentioning is that in order for the Broncos to have success in their ground game, they will have to have much improved play by their offensive line.  Matthew Paradis is the only returning starter from the 2015 season and it is likely that there will be a handful of issues from technique and communication as an issue that will have to be overcome in order for that to happen.

 

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Broncos RBs coach Eric Studesville says he has full confidence in fourth-round pick Devontae Booker already.

 

"Right now. I'll put him in the game right now," said Studesville, who has openly praised Booker's pass protection. The Denver Post believes "there's no reason" to think Booker can't win the No. 2 job behind C.J. Anderson coming out of training camp. Booker may end up pushing Ronnie Hillman off the roster.
 
Source: Denver Post

 

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42 minutes ago, Pipes said:

Everyone please stop with these positive reports on Booker. I was really hoping this guy would fly under the radar until after my drafts.  Thanks

This is always effective on a public message board on which fantasy players seek out specific discussion on players and topics.

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17 minutes ago, buck naked said:

This is always effective on a public message board on which fantasy players seek out specific discussion on players and topics.

It's a joke.   Loved this kid in college and was hoping he'd get off to a slow start so the masses wouldn't catch on to his talent.  Obviously in today's social media world word will get out fast. 

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The Denver Post's Nicki Jhabvala said Broncos rookie RB Devontae Booker has "lived up to the billing."

 

Broncos RBs coach Eric Studesville has already expressed his confidence in the rookie back, and Jhabvala reports Booker's teammates have been heaping praise as well, with Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian, and Aqib Talib all mentioning how impressive he has been. One of the best backs in the draft this year, Booker should be able to lock up the No. 2 role.
 
Source: Denver Post

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
3 hours ago, NajehHejan said:

Ok so part one is complete, he knocked Hillman off the roster and locked up #2 duties. 

Will be interesting to see if he can start pushing CJA for playing time.

Anderson is a very good player. Booker is as well. Anderson is going to need to play at a very high level to hold off Booker from gaining more playing time as the season progresses.

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Booker looked like a rookie. Hard to have a rougher start than to fumble the ball right away on the first carry. He also missed a pass protection assignment.

Kubiak did not completely pull the plug on Booker, but after he missed the blitz pick up I didn't see him in any more. I briefly saw Kapri Bibbs in there, but most of the rest of the game was all Anderson.

Anderson played great so there ya go.

I still like Booker a lot and think he will get opportunities down the road. The passing game wasn't as bad as some feared, so that is a good sign for all the Denver skill players.

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7 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Booker looked like a rookie. Hard to have a rougher start than to fumble the ball right away on the first carry. He also missed a pass protection assignment.

Kubiak did not completely pull the plug on Booker, but after he missed the blitz pick up I didn't see him in any more. I briefly saw Kapri Bibbs in there, but most of the rest of the game was all Anderson.

Anderson played great so there ya go.

I still like Booker a lot and think he will get opportunities down the road. The passing game wasn't as bad as some feared, so that is a good sign for all the Denver skill players.

Thought Kubiak did the right thing after the fumble by getting Booker right back in there and giving him a carry as the first play on that series. But I saw that missed pick up too and knew that was likely the end of his night. Only 3 carries, and was outrushed by both the QB and the FB (also both rookies in their first full game).

While Booker definitely didn't do his cause any justice, I think the team really needs him to spell Anderson to keep him fresh for the season. Downgrade for sure, but I think he still will get his touches, and still valuable as the handcuff if you're a CJ owner (but now maybe not if you don't have Anderson). 

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I agree that DEN needs to find a RB to spell Anderson, but I'm not sure Booker is the guy. He was not productive in preseason and he showed the same last night. While "not special" Anderson was gouging CAR, Booker was barely getting past the LoS. The pass protection mistake was awful. This kid looks like he's a long ways from being a NFL RB. 

 

Now this may cause some of you to repost some of his college tape to show how great he can be, but I don't know how you question that he clearly is not ready for this level of play given what we've seen over the past month and a half. Elway had shown that he won't tolerate a lack of production or doing their job for long - Ball put up much better college tape against tougher opponents, was drafted higher, and was sent packing pretty quickly.

 

Hillman is still out there, can sign a non-guaranteed contract after week 1, knows the system well and was a whole lot more effective in the preseason. 

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Face it dude Kubiak and Elway like Booker. It's why he got so much play last night, it's why they cut Hillman. If you were right in your assessment of how the Broncos viewed Booker, he would not have still gotten carries after the fumble. 

All that being said CJ Anderson tore up one of the best defenses in the league last night. He is a runaway RB1 and locked into the starting job until injury this season.

Edit to add: Kubiak/Elway are transparent in their dealings and always have been. They are the anti Belichick/Shanahan. I can't believe so many Denver fans and prominent members of FBG's fail to see that.

Edited by Bojang0301
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On 4/26/2016 at 8:00 PM, Faust said:

An NFL scout told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Utah RB Devontae Booker would be "a starter you wouldn't really be excited about."

 

"He's a really good No. 2," the scout said. "Really good vision, quick feet, has a burst, good hands out of the backfield to catch. But he has put the ball on the ground (16 fumbles) and pass protection's not great." Booker's Wonderlic scores of 8 and 15 concern some. "He's got a little character concern and some injury issues," said another scout. "He's got quickness. He's got traits but he's not a complete guy." A third scout concluded: "He kind of does a little bit of everything well. Runs hard. Got hands. Not sudden or a blazer."

 

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  • Faust changed the title to Dynasty & Redraft: RB Devontae Booker, N.Y. Giants

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