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RB Devontae Booker, NYG


Faust

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November 24, 2015:

Stock Report: SEC quarterback on the rise and NFL scouts have taken notice

Excerpt:

Devontae Booker, RB, Utah, RSr. (5-11, 212, 4.56, #23)

Utah received a preview of life without Booker on Saturday, scoring only nine points against UCLA, the first time the Utes' offense was held to single digits in over two years. Booker, who underwent surgery last week to repair a torn meniscus, is out for the rest of the season and it is unknown whether or not he'll be healthy to participate in the Senior Bowl in late January. Booker has been the workhorse of the Utah offense, averaging over 30 touches per game, but durability has also been a concern due to his high volume of carries and violent run style. Along with questions about ball security (two fumbles his last two games) and age (will be a 24-year-old rookie), Booker will be dinged by some teams throughout the process due to these factors.

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Rotoworld:

Utah senior RB Devontae Booker "continues to show that he's an every-down running back, but he is on the borderline of every-down-running-back size," writes NFL Media's Lance Zierlein.

Booker rushed for a season-low 62 yards on 14 carries in Saturday's 42-24 loss to USC. "Booker showed good vision as well as an understanding of when to shake a defender and when to finish a run," Zierlein wrote. "He runs bigger than his listed size and is an effective receiver out of the backfield. Booker doesn't look like he's a speedy running back, but he does have good quickness and agility. Booker is no-brainer second-day (Rounds 2-3) draft pick, in my opinion." We aren't as high on the Utes star's pro prospects. Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks Booker as the No. 10 runner in the class.

Source: NFL.com Sun,

Oct 25, 2015 04:35:00 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that "scouts have questions" about Utah senior RB Devontae Booker in pass protection.

"He is fearless in pass protection, but will struggle to square and sustain as a blocker – probably the only area remaining that scouts have questions about the top-rated senior back," Brugler wrote. With that being said, that may be his only weakness at the moment. The dual-threat out of the backfield, offers NFL teams a dynamic play maker, with the ability to be effective in both the passing and running game. The Utah prospect already leads the team in receptions with 23, while averaging 165.2 all-purpose yards per game, according to Brugler.

Source: CBS Sports

Thu, Oct 22, 2015 02:05:00 PM

Utah senior RB Devontae Booker "projects somewhere in the middle portion of round two," TFY Draft Insider Tony Pauline notes.

"Booker is a three down player that can pound it on the inside, turn the corner or effectively catch the ball out of the backfield," Pauline writes. The Utes prospect is one of the top running back prospects heading into the draft. Booker impressed evaluators with his 118 yard, two touchdown performance in the Ute's 34-18 win over Arizona State. The 5-foot-11, 203-pound Booker should gain heavy interest from teams looking for a dual-threat out of the backfield.

Source: TFY Draft Insider

Tue, Oct 20, 2015 02:30:00 PM

Rotoworld's Josh Norris ranks Utah senior RB Devontae Booker as the No. 10 runner in the class.

"Booker is maximizing the space given to him by Pac-12 defenses," Norris wrote. "He is also 23, so some could suggest he should be dominating 19 and 20 year olds. Booker will be 24 before he takes a snap in the NFL." This is not a popular opinion. Recently, CBS Sports' Dane Brugler said Booker had "top-50 pick" potential. NFL Media draft analyst Bucky Brooks believes Booker could blossom into a three-down back in the NFL.

Wed, Oct 14, 2015

08:38:00 PM

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Nice find from massraider in the 2016 Draft Prospects thread:

2016 NFL Draft: Bold Opinions and Initial Prospect Rankings for Each Position

Excerpt:

Bold Opinion: Devontae Booker is the second best running back in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Analysis: Many draft analysts out there believe that the Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry is the clear cut number two running back behind Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott, but after watching comprehensive game film on the running backs in this draft class, I have come to the conclusion that Devontae Booker is the second best running back in the 2016 NFL Draft. I will say that Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon is only a hair behind Booker, but it is the complete package that got me sold on Booker. It seems as if he never goes down on first contact, and if he does get an ounce of daylight, he has the explosiveness to take it to the house. Booker’s most impressive trait to me was his balance and vision as a runner as he found ways to get skinny in the hole and make plays out of nothing. He will be 24 to enter his rookie season, but I don’t see that as much of an issue as others do and I am of the mindset that he can be a workhorse running back for a team in the near future.

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He age and the meniscus injury are red flags to me. The age might not be as big of a factor but it is when you consider his talent. I think he will find his place a decent back up and maybe a special teamer. I think every NFL starter should have either elite power or elite speed. Booker doesn't have either. He has better than average of both for a college back and a willingness to pass protect.

He will be a fine back up and might have some decent games as a fill in but I can't see him demanding a job at the NFL level. If he falls into the perfect situation with the perfect mind set and works hard/develops well then maybe he has a coach who is fine with an RB who can do a little bit of everything.

I just see too much needing to go his way for him to be "the guy" on any team.

Edited by Borden
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One thing that has been noted are his fumbling concerns. He holds the ball loose and away from his body. It looks like I could force a fumble out of him with my zero college football experience and weighing 170 lbs.

Has anyone done research on fumbling issues being corrected in the NFL?

Tiki Barber is one notable name who had his fumbling problems resolved. It seems though like many more of these guys stay quarantined on the bench for years because coaches can't trust them.

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Depends on the back. Does his talent out weigh the fumbles (AP)? Is it that he isn't strong enough? Is it that sets himself up for big hits? Is it that he runs with the ball way out from his body?

I think most backs that have fumbling issues are likely to keep fumbling. RB is such an instinct position that if you will hamstring a back if you force him to change the way he runs/carries the ball. And if they do start to get into a groove they will fall back into bad habits.

For Booker I'd have to go back and watch more of his fumbles and see what happened. See if there is an issue with the way he runs or carries.

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Thanks for starting a thread on this guy Faust.

I am a bit surprised by the negative comments about him so far. I have heard issues with fumbling before. Hard to imagine him or anyone being a greater risk of fumbling than Ameer was last year, I don't recall people being as negative about this issue in regards to his prospects.

FWIW I think Booker is the best RB after Elliot

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Thanks for starting a thread on this guy Faust.

I am a bit surprised by the negative comments about him so far. I have heard issues with fumbling before. Hard to imagine him or anyone being a greater risk of fumbling than Ameer was last year, I don't recall people being as negative about this issue in regards to his prospects.

FWIW I think Booker is the best RB after Elliot

Based on metrics or watching tape? I have both Collins and Howard ahead of him and Perkins about the same after watching games. I'm more than willing to change my opinion though. Always excited to go back an reevaluate.

Also, I don't think he is bad. I think he's good just not better than those others I mentioned.

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My opinion is just based off of watching some of his games. I have also looked at ZWKs different measurements which confirmed what I saw in a lot of ways. Very good numbers as a receiver, not that good as a runner. My opinion is he made a lot of good runs when it was there. There were a lot of dead plays where he is being met in the backfield as well, as every runner will face. He was not that good at making something out of nothing. I would say Collins may be a bit better in this type of bad situation than Booker is, but not sure.

Booker has a lot of the same qualities that I liked about Jay Ajayi last year. He has good vision, fights for extra yardage and is also very good in the passing game. In the right situation I think he has the potential to put up bigger numbers than Collins who does not offer as much as a receiver as Booker does.

I have not watched that many of the eligible prospects yet. I do like Dixon from what I have read and that he is active as a receiver as well. I have not watched as much of him as Booker though. I don't have an opinion about Howard or Perkins really as I haven't watched them yet.

Edited by Biabreakable
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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a link to the draft breakdown games available for Booker. 

Road to the Combine: Is Utah RB Devontae Booker on an Elliott/Henry level?

Quote

"I know if I was a head coach in the draft, I’d take him early. It depends who you have on your team. How long can you wait to get him? Can you take somebody in the second round and wait for him in the third round? You can’t do that. You’re going to have to take him before the third round to get him in my opinion.”

 

Edited by Biabreakable
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I have been looking for his fumbles as this is something I have read people comment about. I read that he fumbled in his last two games before being injured, but I have not seen those games.

According to his stats he had 34 carries in both of his last two games. According to CBS he had 3 lost fumbles on the season. Booker did have 6 fumbles in 2014 losing two of those.

 

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I have watched tons of video on Booker and here's some of the issues I saw that I mentioned earlier in the Collins thread. 

In this one he fumbles after a catch. He swings his arms around trying to maintain balance and gets the ball away from his body.

Fumble vs Cal

Same thing here on a reception.

Utah vs Cal

Fumble vs Oregon

My first time watching everything I could find I noticed numerous plays like this. Most seemed to come on pass plays or when he was in space. 2nd time through I didn't take as much stock in it. I think it was just so prevalent in my mind and watching at half speed that small things stood out on a lot of plays

 

 

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Rotoworld:

NFL Media Draft Analyst Lance Zierlein compares Utah RB Devontae Booker to Jeremy Langford.

 

The 5-foot-11, 203-pounder posted 1,579 all-purpose yards last season despite missing the final four games of the campaign with a torn knee meniscus. "Rhythm runner who has experience in a pro­-style running game and who gets better with the more carries he has," Zierlein wrote. "Booker is a three-down running back who has the toughness and determination to grind out short yardage while possessing the vision and footwork to create for himself when near the line of scrimmage or the second level. Booker isn't fast, but he plays at a consistent speed and should have enough quickness to be consistently productive as an NFL starting running back." The versatile back collected 80 receptions between 2014-2015.
 
 
 
 
Source: NFL.com 
 
 
 
Feb 22 - 2:54 PM
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On 2/19/2016 at 10:35 AM, imjackdupp said:

I have watched tons of video on Booker and here's some of the issues I saw that I mentioned earlier in the Collins thread. 

In this one he fumbles after a catch. He swings his arms around trying to maintain balance and gets the ball away from his body.

Fumble vs Cal

Same thing here on a reception.

Utah vs Cal

Fumble vs Oregon

My first time watching everything I could find I noticed numerous plays like this. Most seemed to come on pass plays or when he was in space. 2nd time through I didn't take as much stock in it. I think it was just so prevalent in my mind and watching at half speed that small things stood out on a lot of plays

 

 

The first link didn't work for me at first. This is a fumble on a pass play 3rd and 8. Booker catches the ball and makes the initial defender miss, but he is using his left hand to help him keep his balance after the move and the ball hits the ground causing the fumble which Cal recovers. He was trying to make a play on 3rd and 8 to extend the drive, but this is another example like you described. Not sure how to coach instincts like that out of a player or if you would want to though.

Watching the second link. I see what you mean how he does this circle motion above his head with the ball as a way of helping him change direction. I totally see what you mean about a move like that possibly exposing the ball to a defender if one was close at the time of this move.

The run he has at about the two minute mark is an example of what I really love about Booker. The announcer calls him slithery when they are doing the replay. He does an amazing job of making an unblocked defender miss him in the hole and then as he avoids the backside defender he finds his way past this guy for a positive run that should have been a TFL or no gain. 

The third fumble he has both hands on the ball. The defender makes a nice strip as Booker is hitting the hole. I think he may have been trying to shift the ball to his left hand at the wrong moment perhaps. He needs to try to hold the ball stronger. Considering the number of carries he had, the fumble frequency isn't that high. As I have watched more of him I see him putting both hands on the ball near the LOS most of the time on inside runs. I have also noticed more runs outside to the right where he carries the ball in his left hand. That is clearly what is his habit and how he is most comfortable running. Is he left handed? Anyhow he ran very effectively to the right as to the left after looking for that more.

As far as the pass protection, those are some bad misses. There are also as many if not more examples of Booker doing a good job in pass protection. He is not Tre Mason. He knows how to block.

Edited by Biabreakable
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  • 3 weeks later...
Quote

NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock ranked Utah RB Devontae Booker as the third-best at his position.

 

No surprise on the first two backs on Mayock's board. Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott and Alabama's Derrick Henry are viewed as consensus 1-2 backs in this draft pool. Booker's largely been a forgotten man in the pre-draft process, though, as he's been unable to participate in post-season activities and workouts due to a torn meniscus suffered in mid-November. The 5-foot-11, 219-pounder managed to accumulate 1,579 all-purpose yards prior to being waylaid by the injury. His hope is to be healthy enough to take part in pro day festivities on March 24, though that isn't a given at this point. We question Booker's overall explosivity, but he has proven to be a tough-as-nails runner and offers a nice set of hands out of the backfield to boot.
 
 
Source: NFL.com 
Mar 13 - 3:41 PM

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Quote
NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt indicated that he believes that Utah RB Devontae Booker "should be a second-day (Rounds 2-3) bargain."
 
Brandt thinks that Booker "does have the speed and quickness to play the position" in the NFL. While he could well be right, it's difficult to judge the Utah product against the rest of the running back class, simply because he hasn't actually been able to participate in much of the pre-selection process due to the torn meniscus he endured in the last month of the 2015 regular season. The 5-foot-10, 219-pounder logged 1,579 all-purpose yards in 10 games last year and received 560 carries in his two years with the Utes. He also offers a nice pair of hands, having caught 80 passes before entering the draft pool. It remains to be seen if he'll be ready to participate in Utah's Pro Day on March 29. 
Mar 21 - 7:04 PM
Source: NFL.com

 

Quote
Utah RB Devontae Booker's knee checked out "OK" at the NFL Combine, according to a scout who spoke with NJ.com's Mark Eckel.
 
Booker suffered a torn meniscus during the final month of the season and missed the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine because of it. Each team comes to their own conclusion regarding medicals, but this positive review is good news. Booker, who stands 5-foot-11 and 219 pounds turns 24 before his rookie season. We would listen to an argument that stated Booker's age, development and maturity played a big part in his massive production against 20 and 21 year olds. 
Mar 24 - 12:06 PM
Source: NJ.com
 
 
Quote
Utah RB Devontae Booker indicated that his personal Pro Day will occur on April 12.
 
Booker has been largely left out of the pre-draft process to this point due a torn meniscus suffered in November. While he was on-hand for Utah's Pro Day on Thursday, he didn't perform in any drills (his lack of work was expected). He has also missed the Senior Bowl and was extremely limited at the NFL Scouting Combine. We should have a better idea of his draft future after this workout in Sacramento on April 12, but he has drawn some hype as a potential second-round selection. That's probably a bit rich for our blood, though it wouldn't be a surprise if somebody jumped up the ladder for Booker after Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott and Alabama RB Derrick Henry have been flushed off the board. 
Mar 27 - 7:31 PM

 

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Went back and read some articles from when Booker injured his knee. The recovery time was supposed to be 4-6 weeks. As was reported by Bleacher Report via Bookers dad. It's now 4 months later and he didn't work out at his pro day. 

The fact that according to this anonymous scout Bookers knee is "OK" seems a bit concerning too me. And the type of injury is one that may conitinue to be an issue. 

I'm not saying this is or isn't an issue but it is a situation that may drop him in the draft. I'm not super high on Booker but I'm not trying to knock him because I'm not high on him. 

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Utah RB Devontae Booker had a pre-draft visit with the Broncos on Wednesday.

The Broncos would like to add a running back to their stable, but they have more pressing needs and thus will likely wait until later on to do so. Searching for an RB to fit a one-cut, zone scheme, they could do worse than Booker if he's available on Day 3. It's an added bonus that Booker's receiving chops could help ease the acclimation of whatever new starter Denver will have behind center in 2016.
 
 
Apr 7 - 3:25 PM
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NFL Draft Scout's Frank Cooney wrote that "[a]lthough [Utah RB Devontae] Booker had impressive streaks at Utah, he comes with plenty of reason for concern."

 

"He was prolific every season he played thus far," Cooney noted, "but the team that takes Booker must overlook age and injury and realize his brutal style of running usually comes with a short shelf life." The 5-foot-11, 219-pounder did not participate in either the NFL Scouting Combine or the Utah Pro Day due to a torn meniscus suffered in November. In his 2016 draft guide, CBS Sports analyst Dane Brugler wrote that Booker "projects as a stronger version of Justin Forsett." Cooney ranks him as the No. 3 running back in this class behind Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott and Alabama's Derrick Henry. On Wednesday, he took a visit to the Denver Broncos.
 
 
Source: CBS Sports 
Apr 9 - 6:50 PM

 

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RB coaches from two teams attend Booker's personal pro day

Quote

Booker -- 5-foot-11, 219 pounds -- is still recovering from Feb. 9 surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. Booker is 70 percent back to normal, but was not able to perform any of the runs or jumps at his personal pro day. He did, however, run some pass routes at about 75 percent of his usual speed. Booker is said to have great hands, and it is believed that he will be ready for full participation once NFL training camps open in July.

 

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3 hours ago, Faust said:

Trying hard to be nice.

Quote

I have him ranked third among this year’s crop of rookie RBs. In deeper PPR formats he’s worth a stash, but in a standard scoring league with a short bench it’ll be hard to roster him out of the gate.

Perhaps the author is referencing leagues that are only 14 roster spots or something? 

Booker is valuable in any format, even more so in PPR leagues.

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2 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

Trying hard to be nice.

Perhaps the author is referencing leagues that are only 14 roster spots or something? 

Booker is valuable in any format, even more so in PPR leagues.

He's ranking then in redraft and doesn't think booker will play right away.   I disagree too with the one caveat that he's coming off an extended injury. 

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ESPN's Mike Reiss has suggested a natural fit between the Patriots and Utah RB Devontae Booker.

 

The Patriots will definitely add a running back in this draft. One is obvious, Navy RB Keenan Reynolds. The other is unknown. Booker was extremely productive this season but suffered a knee injury in November and was sidelined. That meniscus injury has not fully healed, as Booker predicted he is 70-percent healthy. Booker will be 24 when the 2016 season kicks off.
 
Apr 20 - 8:49 AM
 

 

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CBS Sports draft analyst Rob Rang tabbed Utah RB Devontae Booker as a mid-round sleeper.

 

At this point, it is difficult to truly view Booker as a sleeper -- some analysts like him as the third-best running back in this class -- but Rang is a fan regardless. "Booker lacks breakaway speed but he has vision, runs low and hard and possesses capable hands out of the backfield," the analyst wrote. During his personal Pro Day event earlier in April, the bulldozing back said that he was about 70% recovered from a torn meniscus that kept him out of action in November and December. He should be considered a likely Day 2 selection. If he slides to Day 3, don't expect him to be on the board for long.
 
 
Source: CBS Sports 
Apr 24 - 1:33 PM

 

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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."
 
 
Apr 26 - 7:11 PM
 

 

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Broncos selected Utah RB Devontae Booker with the No. 136 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

 

Booker (5'11/219) spent two seasons at Utah after a JUCO transfer, parlaying 560 carries into 2,773 yards (4.95 YPC) and 21 TDs. Also an adept receiver, Booker caught 80 passes in just 23 games. On tape, Booker showed a sensational aptitude for making himself skinny and fitting through cracks, as well as quick feet and run-finishing ability. Concerns include Booker's small hands (8 5/8"), advanced age -- he'll be a 24-year-old rookie -- and a torn meniscus that cut his final college season three games short. Ultimately, Booker teased an NFL-starter-quality skill set as a Ute and is a promising pro prospect.
 
 
 
Apr 30 - 1:55 PM

 

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RB DEVONTAE BOOKER
Utah
5-11 - 219
Round 4, No. 136 overall

Devontae Booker is a perfect fit for the Broncos' scheme.

He makes decisive cuts when the hole develops. He is adept as a receiver, having caught 80 passes for 624 yards and two touchdowns the last two years. He is prolific on the ground, racking up 2,773 yards. He has the tenacity to handle pass-protection responsibilities.

Devontae Booker

In short, he could help the Broncos have the kind of effective sharing of duties that defined some of Gary Kubiak's best offenses when he was the head coach in Houston, when he had Arian Foster and Ben Tate as a 1-2 punch that ground down opposing defenses, kept each other fresh and ensured that the Texans had a premier back available, even if one was injured.

The Broncos had to be thrilled that Booker was available in the fourth round. His talent and production could have made him a good value in the second round or even the third.

Where Booker ends up will depend on how fast he adapts to the speed at the next level. He will have to distinguish himself among a field of running backs that includes a Pro Bowler (C.J. Anderson) who carried the offense down the stretch and in the postseason of a Super Bowl run and last year's leading rusher (Ronnie Hillman).

Booker will also have to complete his recovery from torn meniscus in his knee; he said Saturday that the knee is at "90 percent." But like second-round pick Adam Gotsis, he will soon be up to speed; Booker is expected to practice by June.

How the Broncos' Day 3 picks will fit -- from Devontae Booker to Riley Dixon

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is Devontae Booker the key to Denver’s running game?

At around the 8 minute mark of the podcast is where the fan discussion about Booker, Hillman and Elway saying Booker was a consideration for them if Paxton Lynch had not been available. If that is the case why did they pass on him some more after that? Some talk about Kubiak running game usually being effective.

2016 NFL Draft: Top 5 late-round picks

 

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6 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

Is Devontae Booker the key to Denver’s running game?

At around the 8 minute mark of the podcast is where the fan discussion about Booker, Hillman and Elway saying Booker was a consideration for them if Paxton Lynch had not been available. If that is the case why did they pass on him some more after that? Some talk about Kubiak running game usually being effective.

2016 NFL Draft: Top 5 late-round picks

 

Best thought of perspective I've seen on Booker to the Broncos is someone saying that CJ ANderson couldn't keep Hillman off the field so he has no chance against Booker.  This will be Booker's job by late November.

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Broncos fourth-round RB Devontae Booker wants to start as a rookie.

"I’m not here to carry pads. I’m here to take someone’s job," Booker said. C.J. Anderson’s contract makes him the likely Week 1 starter, but the Broncos expect Booker to push for snaps. Booker will miss next week’s OTAs recovering from his 2015 torn meniscus. His training camp status shouldn’t be in doubt.
 
 
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  • Faust changed the title to RB Devontae Booker, NYG

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