Expert Analysis


5 min read

Austin Booker 2024 NFL Draft: Combine Results, Scouting Report For Chicago bears DE

Kansas defensive end Austin Booker celebrates a sack
Kansas redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Austin Booker (9) reacts after a sack in the fourth quarter of Saturday's Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State inside David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. (The Indianapolis Star-USA TODAY Sports)

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting close, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the class' best players with scouting reports. Each report will include strengths, weaknesses and background information. 

Here's our report on Austin Booker.

Austin Booker's 2024 NFL Combine Results

  • Height: 6-foot-4 1/2"
  • Weight: 240
  • Arm length: 33 7/8"
  • 40-yard dash: 4.79
  • 10-yard split: 1.67
  • Vertical jump: 32 1/2"
  • Broad jump: 10'

Austin Booker's 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report


  • Outstanding length with long arms and body of a basketball player, rangy mover who easily covered ground
  • Came off the ball with leverage, engaging tight ends with eyes up then controlled and displaced to make plays in the run game 
  • On run-game snaps in which he engaged the tight end, he read the backfield action and then played off the block to make a play 
  • Showed an effective club swim move to beat offensive tackles at POA in the run game – great example vs. Texas LT Kelvin Banks  
  • Strong one-arm stab to control tackles and set an edge in the run game; his arm extension kept his feet clean to squeeze inside 
  • Showed some pop and strength in his hands, and arm extension at times jarred both offensive linemen and tight ends in defeating blocks
  • He showed he could work through small creases between offensive linemen to rush the quarterback and play the run  
  • Flashed speed-to-power as an edge rusher with quick hands to play off contact and at times work underneath
  • On pass protection snaps he showed inside counter quickness off initial upfield steps that coordinated with hand usage 
  • Showed an effective inside spin move as an edge rusher; good quickness off initial contact to win inside 
  • Showed confined space strength to control and displace, and short area quickness to avoid and get skinny 
  • A strength of his game was excellent recognition, range and play speed to make plays in pursuit outside the box


  • A little upright and vertical, which resulted in some stiffness and lack of bend and flexibility in his movement 
  • Struggled too often to bend and contort his body off outside and inside moves when he got the initial win 
  • Straight-line linear in his movement, not loose in his core or hips, which limits pass-rush arsenal and potential 
  • Not explosive, sudden or twitchy in his overall movement; did not show higher-level edge rush traits 
  • Lanky and lean and much too upright in overall movement, needs to play beyond that to have success 
  • Lacks the mass and strength-power to effectively take on blocks head-on and win in the run game at POA
  • Needs more play strength in his lower and upper body to become an effective NFL edge rusher
  • Did not explode off the ball as a pass rusher, and his slow get-off negatively impacted his ability to attack and defeat offensive tackles

Kansas Jayhawks defensive lineman Austin Booker (9) tackles Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Emory Jones during a game on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati. Kansas won 49-16. (The Enquirer-USA TODAY Sports)

NFL Transition

Booker will be an intriguing prospect as teams project him to the next level given that he has only played 505 snaps in his Kansas career. The question teams will have to assess and answer is not what he is now as a player but what he can become as he develops with NFL coaching and more snaps.

Booker is long with plus athleticism and movement, which he showed in flashes throughout his tape both as a run defender and edge pass rusher. His tape shows he has the body to develop into a quality edge pass rusher. He shows enough quickness, hand usage and speed-to-power to lead you to believe that he can become a situational rusher if not a full-time player. Booker’s tape also showed some significant concerns, and it is my sense that could make him a polarizing prospect depending on how teams balance what he could develop into vs. the weaknesses that consistently showed up and may not be correctable or fixable.

Booker showed a tendency to play too upright, which limited his ability to play with needed bend and flexibility, especially as a pass rusher. He also showed a glaring tendency to be slow and sluggish off the ball, which prevented him from challenging tackles on the high side.

Overall Booker lacked the kind of play strength he will need to play effectively on the edge, and with his long wiry frame and 240-pound weight, he will need to transition to the next level as an on-the-ball in a 5-2 front if he is to play in your base defense.

Can Booker add meaningful weight and strength and become a defensive end in a four-man base front? That’s part of the projection with him, and different evaluators and coaches will have different points of view about that. Booker showed enough flashes on tape to believe that he could develop into a quality edge player at the next level, but that is not a certainty. Much will depend on how he is coached and his growth and development.   

Other notes

Booker came out of Indiana as a 3-star recruit and began his career at Minnesota before transferring to Kansas, where he played one season and recorded outstanding numbers: 56 tackles, 12 TFL and eight sacks.

Booker had some strong snaps vs. Texas LT Kelvin Banks in the run game and as a pass rusher. Booker was consistently dominant vs. Banks.