Patriots

Patriots

Utah running back Devontae Booker, a 5-11, 219-pounder who can contribute on the ground and in the passing game, is visiting with the Patriots on Wednesday.

The visit, reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Media doesn’t necessarily indicate the Patriots are more enamored with Booker than any other running back in the class. It’s more likely the team brought him to town to check his health. He had November knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee and didn’t take part in the Senior Bowl of NFL Combine.

The upside to Booker’s abilities is that he’s a smooth, cut-on-a-thread runner that shows great patience and understands how to run behind zone-blocking. He’s also got terrific hands and has both the power and suddenness to get extra yards with strength or elusiveness.

He does not have breakaway speed, according to Pro Football Focus and other draft analysis sites. He also hasn’t done much pass-blocking. Also, as you’ll see in these highlights, his propensity for letting the ball get away from his body as opposed to carrying it high and tight is going to have to be coached out of him. But he’s a fun runner.

Biggest takeaway on Booker being in town? The Patriots are tire-kicking on all running backs and will likely be in the market for one next week.