Devontae Booker, RB
One surprising player I think is facing a make-or-break season is Devontae Booker.
Booker is in a very unique situation after leading the Broncos in rushing his rookie season in 2016 and nearly beating out C.J. Anderson — who graded out as a top 10 running back in the league by Pro Football Focus — for the starting job in 2017.
Booker hasn’t been the type of game-changer it appeared he was capable of being while he was with Utah, and perhaps that can be easily traced back to a fumble on his first NFL carry.
Against the Carolina Panthers, Booker took the first carry of his NFL career for a long gain but fumbled on the tail end of it, and he’s had a very brutish running style ever since.
Rather than making defenders miss in the open field like he did in college, Booker seems to seek out contact and hasn’t been able to get a natural running style while keeping a strong hold on the football.
Still, the coaching staff seems to love his potential, but there are now legitimate alternatives in-house to replace him or even out-play him.
Royce Freeman and De’Angelo Henderson will push Booker for carries this year, and he’s going to need to prove he’s capable of being a featured back with a clean bill of health and a fresh start in year three.