University of Utah

Denver Broncos select Utah RB Devontae Booker in fourth round

The Broncos may have gotten a steal by taking Devontae Booker in the fourth round.

The waiting finally ended for former Utah running back Devontae Booker as he was taken in the fourth round with the 136th overall pick by the Denver Broncos. Booker is the first Utah running back drafted since Quinton Ganther was selected back in 2006.

Denver general manager John Elway seems to be ecstatic about landing the former Ute running back.

Heading into the NFL Draft, Booker was expected to be taken between the second and third rounds, but the two-time all-Pac-12 selection had to wait but he looks to fit right into the Broncos offensive plans. He ran for 1,512 yards with 10 touchdowns in 2014 but his stats dipped a bit in 2015 with 1,261 yards, 11 touchdowns. However, his season ended earlier than expected with a knee injury where he missed Utah’s final three games.

The early word is that Booker might be a great value pick for the Broncos. Yes, Denver did match the offer from the Miami Dolphins to keep C.J. Anderson in town, plus they have Ronnie Hillman. However, Booker can run, catch and block making him a running back who can stay on the field for all three downs with his versatility.

Booker is very capable of catching the ball out of the backfield where he had 80 receptions — 3.43 per game — in his two years with the Utes. He also is a back that the Utes used to wear down opponents late in games, and Booker had 14 games of rushing for over 100 yards.

There is a realistic possibility that Booker will battle Hillman for that backup spot, and then couple that with Anderson having an up-and-down season could result in Booker seeing some decent playing time the defending Super Bowl champions.

Waiting the extra day might have been worth with wait for Booker who has a very good chance to see the field sooner than later with the Broncos.


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