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Exploring the Journey of Austin Booker | NFL Draft

Updated: Apr 20

Written By Adam Aniba

First round projected pass rushers FSU's Jared Verse and PSU's Chop Robinson take center stage as the drafts top edge rushers. In saying that finding impact edge rusher doesn't have to involve a 1st round investment.

Potential Day 2 edge rusher Austin Booker is an ascending talent, that put it all together in '23 after a quiet collegiate career.

Austin Booker

6'4 1/2" 240 lbs | DE | KU

Draft Proj Late 3rd Rd

MIN Career (6 Games)- 2 TAK (1 solo)

'23 Stats (12 Games)- 56 TAK (40 solo), 12.0 TFL, 8 SACKS, 1 PD & 2 FF


Booker grew up in Greenwood, IN and was the star defensive end for Center Grove High School. Booker also played basketball high school.

Booker helped Center Grove to the '20 Class 6A State Title and recorded 67 tackles and 8 sacks as a junior.

Booker was designated as a 3-star prospect and ranked as the 31st strong-side defensive end recruit in the nation by 247Sports.

During a competitive recruiting process, Booker received multiple offers and ultimately committed to the University of Minnesota.

The Grove High edge rusher saw no action for Minnesota in '21. The following season Booker was active in 6 games, primarily as a reserve and on special teams making making 2 tackles on the year.

At the conclusion of the 2022 season, Booker transferred to Kansas. He was active in 12 games (1 start). Although Booker was a rotational edge rusher for the Jayhawks, he still led the the team in tackles for a loss (12), 56 tackles 8 sacks, 1 pass breakup and 2 forced fumbles.

Booker was named to the 1st-Team All-Big 12 Conference squad and Big 12 Conference Defensive Newcomer of the year for his efforts.


  • Boasts an extensive tool box of pass rushing counters to shed blocks when engaged

  • Length is notable (34" inch arms), aids him in his pass rush when bending the edge

  • Displays a non-stop motor and seems to get better as the game progresses

  • Ability to quickly sniff out screens and snuff them out

  • Excellent burst and anticipation off the snap


  • Overall play strength is average, needs to get stronger

  • Tendency to bite on play-action

  • Can over-pursue when being overaggressive

  • Only average change of direction ability

  • Lack of career starts and collegiate games played is a concern


Booker is an ideal change-up pass rusher, that could deployed as a rotational chess piece on the next level with the ceiling to be a starter.

We've seen rotational pass rushers such as Eagles free agent Bryce Huff cash in big during free agency, that's exactly the role Booker could have until he fills out and increases in functional strength.

Teams that run exotic defensive fronts could be creative deploying the Jayhawk's pass rusher.

Although Booker has reportedly risen up draft boards, the lack of game experience by the redshirt sophomore will likely give teams pause. Ultimately this will likely lead to Booker slipping to the late portion of round 3rd, but the team that selects him will gain a high impact headhunter.


9/8/23 vs Illinois, 9/23 vs BYU, 9/30 vs Texas, 10/7 vs UCF, 10/28 vs Oklahoma & 11/18 vs Kansas




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