Lions 2024 NFL Draft report: Austin Booker, EDGE, Kansas

USA Today

It is finally draft season for Lions fans.

Brad Holmes and his front office have proven they are very capable of putting together great draft classes. They have had major hits on every day of the draft, but especially on Day Two. This roster isn’t in desperate need of much because of his work, but they do have some positions that need to be addressed.

This offseason, they should be focusing on getting better play out of their defensive backs, adding depth on the defensive line, and building out the wide receiver room.

These scouting reports should introduce you to some of the names that Lions fans could hear during the three days of the NFL Draft.

Background

  • Height: 6’6″
  • Weight: 245
  • 3-star recruit according to 247 Sports
  • Played two years at Minnesota before transferring to Kansas
  • Dad played college football at Liberty

College Production

  • 40 tackles
  • Nine sacks
  • Two forced fumbles

Notable PFF Stats

  • 35 defensive stops
  • Four penalties committed
  • 28 quarterback hurries

Traits and Skills

Tackling Ability

When watching his film against Texas specifically, Booker’s tackling ability shined. He was able to get ahold of Jonathon Brooks at both the line before he could break through or in pursuit. He can be over-eager to get to the ball carrier, but if he gets his paws on you, it is over.

Finesse Moves

Booker has a long, slimmer build when you watch him, and it allows him to work easily around blockers. He can over-commit and miss out on a quarterback moving in the pocket but his speed and hand usage constantly gets him free of blockers.

Run Defense

Mentioned above was how well he handled Brooks from Texas, but it was nearly every running back he faced off against. He is quick enough off the ball to drive runners back into the heart of the defense, and he is just as smart to recognize running lanes and fill them. That mind and play style is something that this coaching staff should fall in love with.

Fit within the Lions Roster

The Lions need depth at the edge rushing position as well as someone to compliment Aidan Hutchinson. Austin Booker won’t be a starter the minute he is drafted, but the tools he has paired with his athleticism make me like his potential.

His motor will carry him through the growing pains the NFL will have for him. His athleticism and instincts will carry him starting in year two. I like him for the Lions because he could easily be a double-digit sack player opposite Hutchinson while also allowing the former second-overall pick to see a spike in his production.

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