2019 Stats: 2 carries, 9 yards, 0.6 Y/G, 4.5 Y/A, 0 TDs
The grading on these seems pretty obvious due to Booker’s 2019 stats, or lack thereof. However, it may also seem unfair. Hear me out, though. Booker has been with Denver for his entire career thus far, drafted in the 4th round out of Utah in 2016. Booker’s rookie campaign was good, finishing with 612 yards and 4 TDs. Booker appeared to be a good pair to CJ Anderson, and it was felt that Booker may eventually take over as the premier back.
Booker has not even come close to tasting that same success since 2016. In 2017- 2019, Booker averaged 163 yards per season, 38 carries and just 11 yards per game, despite having almost full availability each season. Granted, it is not Booker’s fault that Vic Fangio and Rich Scangarello made the decision to hardly utilize him at all in 2019. In fact, his utilization has decreased steadily from 2017 on to hitting a dead thump in 2019. However, this is likely because it is clear that Booker is not a good fit for Denver, and there is not use for him here anymore.
It is very questionable as to why Booker was given a roster spot for the 2019 season. To be very blunt, he hasn’t been good since his rookie season and as it would turn out, they ended up not using him at all but two plays the entire season.
I stand by my D- grade, as it is apparent that Devontae Booker should not even have been a Bronco in 2019, but John Elway and the front office get to share in that grade for their decision making as well.
There is a chance that Booker will find a team that has a system he will thrive in, but this should have been done after 2018.
Overall, while the Denver Broncos could be in a better situation for runningbacks, they could also be in a much worse spot. Phillip Lindsay has earned his role as the premier back, and is about as young and exciting as it gets.
Broncos Country continues to be very excited about him, and for good reason. Royce Freeman has not reached his potential yet, and it may be a good idea for Elway and scouts to look for some talent in the draft or free agency to compete for that #2 spot.
Lastly, Devontae Booker will likely not be a Denver Bronco going in 2020, and he shouldn’t be. It is time for the team to move on.