PatsFans.com
PatsFans.com
Mac JonesMac JonesTrey Lance
Search

New England Patriots > Patriots Blog > Patriots 2016 NFL Draft

Possible Patriots Draft Target, RB Devontae Booker

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
5 years ago at 6:00 am ET

Possible Patriots Draft Target, RB Devontae BookerUSA Today - USA TODAY Sports

Booker is a Three-down Back That Can Do It All

As the 2016 NFL Draft draws closer we’ll profile some of the players that may be on the Patriots radar. Some of these players have already been linked to New England as possible targets others, we feel would be a great fit.

The Patriots may still target a running back in the 2016 NFL Draft, although they have signed former Colt and Charger Donald Brown, they don’t really have a reliable three-down back at least until Dion Lewis is fully healthy from his ACL tear. Brown has had some degree of success in the passing game, as had Lewis and James White but the Pats need a consistent ground gainer between the tackles. Brandon Bolden is mainly a special teams’ maven and Tyler Gaffney is still looking to get on the field in Year 3.

The Patriots haven’t drafted many running backs in the Belichick era (8), but with the need apparent, especially late in the season with the injuries piling up, this may be a time to strike earlier in the draft.

Devontae Booker from Utah would be a perfect fit for the Patriots offense and a great possible target in the upcoming 2016 NFL Draft. After coming out of JUCO Booker took over the starting back role for the Utes and rushed for 1512 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2014. He added 43 receptions for 306 yards and two more scores. His final season was cut short due to injury at just 10 games but still rushed for 1261 yards, 11 touchdowns while adding 37 catches out of the backfield for 318 yards.

Booker is a smart, savvy runner who shows patience in waiting for the holes to open and then knowing when to hit the gas and accelerate. The 5’11, 219-pound Booker has the size and bulk to handle every-down back duties and comes from a pro-style system that should make his learning curve small if he’s targeted.

While he doesn’t have breakaway speed, his vision and footwork allow himself to find creases in the defense that can be exploited. Booker is the type of back that gets better the more work he gets.

devontae booker

Pros:

– Can cut and change direction while maintaining top speed

– Great hands and vision for catching the ball out of the backfield

– Versatile can be a three-down back

– Good in short-yardage as well as pass protection

Cons

– Has good but not breakaway speed

– Ball security was an issue at times

– Had a knee injury (torn meniscus), not serious but may give teams pause

What his Role Will Be:
His role in the New England offense would be as a three-down back. He is a very effective runner between the tackles and gets better as the game wears on. He’s also a very good pass receiver with 80 receptions the past two seasons.

Will his Role Change from Year 1-2?
Yes, as he becomes more acclimated to the pro game, he’ll get even more work and possibly become the featured back in the Patriots system.

How Many Downs Can He Play?
Three

What Current Player on the Roster Will He Replace?
Booker would replace free agent LeGarrette Blount as the lead running back in the ground game.

What is his ST Value?
Minimal

Conclusion:
Booker would be a tremendous upgrade for the running back position. He fulfills a need for a back who can not only run the ball effectively between the tackles but catch it out of the backfield as well.

He would be a perfect complement to the New England offense. He gives them a big, reliable back who can not only get them the tough yardage inside and keep defenses honest, but will provide Tom Brady another target in the passing game while providing solid pass protection.

Booker is tough and productive and will be a very good short-yardage and goal-line back with his vision and footwork.

With the qualities of being a three-down back and coupled with the Patriots pass-first system, Booker can be a Starter on Day 1. He’s slotted to go between Rounds 1-2 in the upcoming NFL Draft. If he’s still around in Round 2, they’d possibly have to make a move up to pick him up.

Booker’s junior season highlight film can be found here, courtesy of Highlight Genius:

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.


Posted Under: Patriots 2016 NFL Draft
Tags: 2016 NFL Combine 2016 NFL Draft 2016 Patriots Draft 2016 Patriots Mock Drafts 2016 Patriots Roster 53 Man Roster Projection Bill Belichick Brandon Bolden Devontae Booker Dion Lewis LaGarrette Blount New England Patriots Patriots running backs Tom Brady Tyler Gaffney


  • Comments are closed.

  • More News Headlines:

    Patriots 2021 Training Camp Primer – Safeties

    Patriots 2021 Training Camp Primer – Safeties

    By: Steve Balestrieri
    Kyle Dugger is the next star waiting in the wings. As a rookie, he was already being used as a movable chess piece by the…
    22 hours ago
    Best Of Social Media: The Patriots Takeover Rivalry Weekend Between The Red Sox and Yankees

    Best Of Social Media: The Patriots Takeover Rivalry Weekend Between The Red Sox and Yankees

    By: Robert Alvarez
    Members of the 2021 New England Patriots throw out honorary first pitches at Fenway Park before games between the Red Sox and Yankees.
    1 day ago
    New England Patriots 2021: Bounce Back Season or More of the Same?

    New England Patriots 2021: Bounce Back Season or More of the Same?

    By: Chris Smith
    The 2020 season will live long in the memory for many fans of the New England Patriots, sadly for all the wrong reasons. Suffering a…
    2 days ago
    Daily Patriots News and NFL Notes: 5 Things to Know – 7/26

    Daily Patriots News and NFL Notes: 5 Things to Know – 7/26

    By: Ian Logue
    New England Patriots news and NFL notes for Monday July 26, 2021
    2 days ago
    Patriots 2021 Training Camp Primer – Cornerbacks

    Patriots 2021 Training Camp Primer – Cornerbacks

    By: Steve Balestrieri
    Jackson returns after signing a one-year, 2nd round tender. The team has to make a decision with him next year at the latest but should…
    2 days ago
    Search For Links: - CLOSE
    For searches with multiple players
    add commas (Ex: "Bill Belichick, Devin McCourty")