|Team:||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Ht / Wt:||5'11" / 219 lb.|
|Born:||May 27, 1992|
|Drafted:||2016 / Rd. 4 (136)|
Booker agreed to terms on a contract with the Raiders on Wednesday, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
Analysis: The 27-year-old became an unrestricted free agent in March after totaling two carries for nine yards and six catches for 57 yards last season. Booker had a solid rookie campaign with 877 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns, but his role in Denver steadily declined over the last few seasons. The Raiders already have Josh Jacobs (knee), Jalen Richard (ankle) and rookie third-round pick Lynn Bowden, so Booker may not be guaranteed a roster spot come training camp.
Booker caught six of nine targets for 57 yards and added nine yards on two carries in 2019.
Analysis: Booker has seen his yardage and touch numbers decline each year since his 877-yard rookie campaign in 2016. Booker recorded a touch in just six of 16 games in 2019 and didn't get on the stat sheet until Week 9. His role in the return game was also reduced with the emergence of former CFL star Diontae Spencer. Given the production Denver has gotten out of young stars Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, Booker figures to be playing for another squad in 2020 as the Broncos are likely to find younger, cheaper options at RB3.
Booker caught one of his two targets for two yards during Sunday's 27-17 win over the Lions.
Analysis: Booker's day could have been a little nicer if he managed to wrangle a well-placed pass downfield from Drew Lock during the Broncos' opening drive. The veteran back may be playing his final game in Mile High Sunday against the Raiders as he heads to free agency in the offseason. He's managed a few offensive snaps a game in recent weeks as he has reclaimed some of the passing-down role he enjoyed in 2018, but not nearly enough to pique your interest.
Booker earned a five-yard carry during Sunday's 23-3 loss in Kansas City.
Analysis: Booker continues to get minimal action on offense with just five snaps and one touch Sunday. He has garnered a touch in four of his last five games, but figures to be kept to a limited role behind Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. He's a solid receiver out of the backfield and should record a catch or two Sunday against a weak Detroit pass defense, but his upside is extremely limited absent an injury to Lindsay and Freeman.
Booker caught two passes for 24 yards during Sunday's 38-24 win over the Texans.
Analysis: Booker set up Denver's third touchdown of the day early in the second quarter, angling out of the backfield for a 25-yard catch-and-run. That play alone accounted for more yards than Booker had previously accounted for all season. The fourth-year back remains a distant third on the depth chart behind sophomores Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay, but at least -- unlike earlier this season -- the Broncos are rotating him in on offense in recent weeks. The fact that "rotating him in" consisted of just two offensive snaps Sunday, however, should still keep him out of your mind when setting your lineup. Next up is a stingy Chiefs pass defense.
Booker gain four yards on his lone rush of Sunday's 27-23 loss in Minnesota. He was unable to bring in either of his targets.
Analysis: Booker's five offensive snaps Sunday were three more than he had in the previous nine games of the season combined and he now has a touch in each of the last two weeks. That's what counts as progress for the veteran back, who has been relegated to exclusively special teams duty for much of the season. Still, so long as Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman are healthy, Booker probably won't get much more than a touch or two as a third-down back Sunday against Buffalo's stout defense.
Booker did not see an offensive snap during Sunday's 27-16 loss in Green Bay.
Analysis: That's back-to-back weeks for Booker, who has also been phased out as a returner. Booker's silence offensively came during a game in which Royce Freeman reportedly battled shoulder discomfort and head coach Vic Fangio told reporters that Green Bay dared the Broncos to run. If he wasn't used in such a game against Green Bay, it's doubtful that he gets many opportunities against the Jaguars.
Booker did not record a touch and did not return a kick during Sunday's 16-14 loss to Chicago.
Analysis: Booker did not log a single offense snap Sunday and, while he was in on 14 special-teams plays, he seems to have been replaced at kick returner by Diontae Spencer. He figures to be an emergency play only if Phillip Lindsay or Royce Freeman go down and that may only be until Theo Riddick (shoulder) is activated off of IR.
Booker was not targeted and did not garner a carry during Monday's 24-16 loss in Oakland.
Analysis: The score likely prevented the Broncos from pounding the ball the way they might have liked to entering Monday's opener, but that didn't stop Denver from trying to run rookie tight end Noah Fant and quarterback Joe Flacco rather than Booker. The veteran Ute was always going to be a distant third to talented sophomores Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, but it was telling that newly acquired receiver/returner Diontae Spencer was back for kicks as opposed to Booker, who was listed atop the depth chart at kick returner. Booker figures to dress on game days at least until Theo Riddick (shoulder) heals up, but it would be foolish to expect him to get many -- if any -- touches.
Booker rushed four times for 15 yards and caught both his targets for eight yards in Monday night's 24-15 preseason loss to the 49ers.
Analysis: Booker's touches almost exclusively came on Denver's two-minute drive to close the first half. His contributions helped earn the Broncos a field goal, displaying his comfort level in a critical game situation in the process. With Theo Riddick (shoulder) sidelined, Booker is aiming to hold off Khalfani Muhammad and Devontae Jackson to serve as his team's No. 3 tailback behind Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman again this season. Considering Muhammad didn't play Monday and Jackson managed just six yards on three carries, Booker approaches Saturday's game against the Rams in a good position.
With Theo Riddick (shoulder) set to miss the first few games of the season, Booker may find a role on the team, Mike Klis of 9News Denver reports.
Analysis: The offseason has not been kind to Booker, who has seen rookie Devontae Jackson and pickups Theo Riddick and Khalfani Muhammad all take shots at replacing him as RB3. Riddick's injury makes it far more likely that the Broncos keep him as a veteran backup to at least start the season, but he's not out of the woods yet. Muhammad and Jackson have each had their moments during the first two preseason games and both have outperformed Booker as returners. The Broncos may ultimately prefer their upside over Booker's experience.
The Broncos are signing veteran back Theo Riddick, Rob Demovsky of ESPN NFL Nation reports. The signing directly threatens Booker's role on the team.
Analysis: There had been whispers that Booker is not a lock to make the final roster throughout the offseason. Those are now alarm bells. Booker's role in Denver's offense is that of a pass-catching option on third downs. Riddick has nabbed 247 passes over the past four seasons and makes Booker redundant. Absent Booker blowing all other options away as a kick returner, Riddick's signing seems to signal Booker's pending departure.
Booker is listed as Denver's top kick returner on the team's first official depth chart.
Analysis: Booker has returned 24 kicks over the past two seasons for an uninspiring 21.3 yards per return. The Broncos have struggled at returner in recent seasons and so any level of stability back there will be valued. That said, Denver's front office is clearly looking at other options to back up the young rushing duo of Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman, with Theo Riddick paying a recent visit to Mile High and rookie Devontae Jackson nipping at Booker's heels on the depth chart both at running back and kick returner. At best, Booker will be a solid returner who will nab some passes on third down. At worst, he may be off the squad in a few weeks.
Booker and Royce Freeman got most of the work with the starting offense while Phillip Lindsay focused on rehabbing a wrist injury this spring, ESPN.com's Jeff Legwold reports.
Analysis: Lacking Freeman's size and power or Lindsay's speed and elusiveness, Booker understandably seems to be the forgotten man in Denver's backfield, though his reliable hands could be enough to earn some work on passing downs. The Broncos ideally would like to see Lindsay seize those snaps, but his five drops on 47 targets contributed to a lackluster mark of just 5.1 YPT last season. To be fair, Booker wasn't much better at 5.4, dropping his career mark to 6.1 YPT. If nothing else, he has a good chance to stick on the 53-man roster, as competition for the No. 3 running back spot is limited to Khalfani Muhammad and undrafted rookie Devontae Jackson.
Booker rushed for 183 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries and added 38 catches off of 51 targets for 275 yards in 2018. He lost one fumble during the season.
Analysis: Despite a career high in catches, Booker still ended 2018 with 37 fewer touches than either of the first two seasons of his career. The presence of rookies Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman was a major factor as a large chunk of Booker's carries came in games in which one of the two young stars were injured or ejected. The new, reduced role might be good for Booker as he was certainly more efficient running the ball, averaging 5.4 yards per carry as compared to his his average of 3.6 in his first seasons. He also managed to reel in some clutch catches in the passing game, which has arguably been his strong suit. He figures to have a similar third-down role in 2019, but the risk will be that Lindsay could continue to develop into a strong three-down option, eating further into Booker's opportunities.
Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said Booker will "get a bunch of runs" in Sunday's season finale against the Chargers, Zac Stevens of BSNDenver.com reports.
Analysis: Both Booker and Royce Freeman will see boosts in their respective fantasy stocks in Week 17 after lead back Phillip Lindsay was shut down with a wrist injury that will require surgery. Given that he's logged 113 rushing attempts to Booker's 29 this season, Freeman will inherit the bulk of Lindsay's touches on the ground, though Musgrave's comments hint that a timeshare on some level will be in the works. Even if Booker notices a mild uptick in carries, he's still more likely to offer most of his utility in the passing game, where he's consistently held a more prominent role than Freeman all season.
Booker rushed three times for 21 yards and caught three of five targets for 21 more yards in Monday night's 27-14 loss to the Raiders.
Analysis: Booker was a triple threat on Christmas Eve as he added 116 yards on five kick returns in the contest. He saw his first rushing attempts in three weeks while Phillip Lindsay was knocked out of the game with a wrist injury. If Lindsay is unable to go Week 17 at home against the Chargers, Booker would stand to see another handful of rushes in addition to his usual allotment of targets.
Booker caught two of three targets for 17 yards during Saturday's 17-16 loss to Cleveland.
Analysis: It feels like just about every Denver loss has come with the Broncos driving for the winning score in the closing seconds but coming up short. That was the case again Saturday when Booker almost saved the day, helping convert a fourth down with a 15-yard catch in the game's closing moments. The Broncos stalled shortly thereafter. The veteran continues to trail both of his rookie teammates in snaps per game as he holds the role of third-down back. Sunday brings an Oakland squad that, despite their struggles, has actually ranked among the best of the league in limiting opposing passing attacks at just 244 yards per game.
Booker caught both of his targets, gaining 11 yards during Sunday's 20-14 loss in San Francisco.
Analysis: Booker was held without a carry for the third time in four games and it was just as well as the Broncos typically efficient run game was limited against a stout 49ers front. The Broncos, with Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) now out for the year, have nothing resembling experience at receiver and so teams really only need to worry about stopping the run. On one hand, stacked boxes are bad for Booker, but on the other his role as the pass-catching back can be all the more valuable. That formula might be a tough play Saturday against a Cleveland defense stingy against the pass, but a little soft against the run this season.
Booker caught both of his targets for 38 yards and added a four-yard carry during Sunday's 24-10 win over Cincinnati.
Analysis: Booker made his impact during the Broncos' final drive of the first half. Facing third and long at midfield, a scrambling Case Keenum found Booker along the right sideline for a 30-yard catch-and-run. Booker nabbed an eight-yard pass on the very next play to set up a Phillip Lindsay touchdown run. Booker, the elder statesman in the Broncos' backfield, has certainly seen his opportunities drop behind rookies Lindsay and Royce Freeman. He's mostly been relegated to the passing game, which may be key next Sunday as the 49ers have been stronger against the run than the pass this season.
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