RB #23 Devontae Booker, Utah

5’11” – 212 lbs. – 4.55e

Originally committed to Washington St., but ended up spending his first two seasons of eligibility at American River College. Served as Utah’s bellcow over the past two years, leading the nation in rushing attempts before injuring his meniscus, which required season-ending surgery. Team captain who did most of his work out of shotgun or pistol formations. Has an average build, with relatively thick thighs. Always carries the ball in his left hand. Can recognize and hit cutback lanes; able to squeeze through some small holes in a pinch. Pretty elusive runner who makes sharp cuts and looks good in the open field; however, could be more decisive in getting to the line. Creativity is more limited to catch-and-run situations than when working between the tackles. Has quite a lot of attempts with short gains; not really a threat to hit home-runs either, but will pick up chunks from time to time. Not particularly powerful; tends to run a little bit upright, although he is able to twist free from a defender’s grasp a few times per game. Determined player who will try to fight through arm tackles downfield, but who gets tackled for a loss far too often. Will lower his head and try to fall forward for extra yards at the end of his runs, but also gives himself up too easily when he’s caught behind the line of scrimmage; a shame considering that he has exhibited the ability to escape from trouble. Experienced and aggressive in blitz pickup; not afraid to stick his nose in there against an oncoming defender, although he might need to improve his functional strength, as he is often knocked back by contact. Also leads the way on some options or designed quarterback runs. Does most of his receiving work on swing passes or delayed screens out of the backfield, but has lined up out wide as a joker on occasion. Has shown that he is capable of adjusting to poorly-thrown balls, but wasn’t completely reliable during film review; that said, could probably be considered an average receiver. Doesn’t stand out as much as his resume would seem to indicate; more of a jack-of-all-trades type whose most impressive qualities are agility and vision. Would be best in a cutback-oriented offense, where he would also be able to make some contributions in the passing game, primarily because of his blitz pickup contributions. Might slip to the third day of the draft because teams often perceive running backs as a position with little marginal utility, because of his recent surgery and big workload, and because of his lack of home-run-hitting ability.

Games watched: UCLA (’14), California (’15), Michigan (’15)

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