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Vikings 2024 NFL draft scouting report: Kansas EDGE Austin Booker

Welcome to SKOL Search!

This series will be your guide to the 2024 draft class. From scouting reports to mock drafts and exploring different scenarios, we will be covering the NFL draft and the future of the Minnesota Vikings from all angles.

The focus of the draft class in this space will be on the Vikings’ major needs at quarterback, running back, defensive line and edge rusher. We will also focus on wide receiver since it’s a loaded class and an increased chance to get a Stefon Diggs-type steal in the later rounds.

The Vikings are slated to have 9 picks going into the NFL draft and they need to make the most out of them.

Background

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Austin Booker

  • Kansas

  • Transfer from Minnesota

  • Height-6044

  • Weight-240 lbs

  • Third-year Junior

  • 3-Star recruit per 247 Sports

  • Stats: 58 tackles, 41 solo, 13.0 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, 1 pass defended, 2 forced fumbles

  • Games watched: Missouri State 2023, Illinois 2023, Texas 2023, Kansas State 2023

Strengths

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

First thing that comes to mind with Booker is athleticism. He explodes off the ball forcing offensive linemen to set vertically and Booker has the speed to beat them around the edge while possessing an inside move to keep them guessing.

Displays active hands in the pass tush. Doesn’t allow the offensive lineman to get their hands on him and engage, using his quickness to dodge from gap to gap. In the running game, Booker flashes the ability to stack and shed, keeping those hands active to prevent the grip from getting in deep.

Around the edge, he displays good bend and flexibility, pairing that with legit speed to get around the blocker.

Has multiple pass-rush moves to get to the quarterback and sets up moves throughout the course of a game to take advantage of leverage.

Weaknesses

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Booker has played only 505 snaps in his college career. What do you do with a player like that? Being only 21 on draft day tells you he’s got a ton of potential but will his lack of development in college be a factor for him potentially busting? It’s the same discussion we had about Gregory Rousseau.

Has a somewhat slim frame and lacks the requisite physical strength to hold the edge at the point of attack.

Pass rush plans shows real promise but the level of consistency isn’t up to par. If Booker gets locked up, he doesn’t have counters fully developed to finish

Overview

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Bend

8.2/10

Quickness/Burst

14.0/15

Finesse

3.9/5

Power

3.5/5

Counters

7.3/10

Awareness

7.4/10

Run Defense

7.6/10

Versatility

8.4/10

Size/Length

13.6/15

Tackling

8.1/10

Grade

82.0/100 Second Round

Booker is an incredible athlete that is still learning how to be a consistent pass rusher. With only 505 snaps under his belt, the sky is the limit but there are some concerns about whether or not he will provide the baseline of success since it is such a limited sample size. With his intriguing profile, don’t be surprised if he somehow sneaks into the first round.

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire