A Closer Look: Lorenzo Booker

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On day one of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Eagles traded a 4th round pick to the Miami Dolphins for the Dolphins 2007 3rd round pick Lorenzo Booker.

Andy Reid said at his post draft press conference that he sees Lorenzo Booker as basically another draft pick. Considering Booker is just a second year player, Andy makes some sense. Reid also revealed that they really liked Booker in last year's draft and tried to move up in the third round to get him, but couldn't work out a deal. Miami ended up picking the Florida State product Booker and the Eagles grabbed Tony Hunt out of Penn State. This year he called up Bill Parcells to ask about him and they worked out a deal.

Booker didn't end up playing very much last year, so frankly it's fair to look at him like a new draft pick. His scouting reports out of college read much like Brian Westbrook's did. He's a smaller, quick, elusive back that loves to catch the ball out of the backfield. Take a look at this play to see some of his impressive moves . He's also a pretty good kick return man. For those counting, Booker makes 3 return men the Eagles have acquired on draft weekend

It looks to me like Booker is here to be the Westbrook clone that Ryan Moats was never able to become. Scouting report from Yahoo sports

The good: A shifty scatback who was one of the better playmakers in the ACC. Has a quick burst through the hole with the speed to get to the second level and outrun defenders. He is a quality return specialist who may get opportunities in that role. Capable of being an immediate playmaker as a third-down back. As a senior, he rushed for 616 yards and four TDs on 143 carries. He also caught 33 passes for 420 yards. At the Combine, he ran a 4.46 and 4.5 with 26 reps and a 35.5-inch vertical leap.

The bad: Has only marginal strength to break tackles, and it’s uncertain if he has the power to pound inside as a pro feature back. As a blocker, he must show the toughness to contain linebackers.

Outlook: Explosive, versatile playmaker who never realized his full potential at FSU because of splitting playing time and nagging injuries. Has the skills to be a fine playmaker in a pro offense and a full-time starter if he answers the durability issues. Marginal top-50 prospect with the ability to be a major surprise early in his career. Should be picked in the second or third round.

I also talked with Matt of the great Dolphins blog, The Phinsider, who was very surprised by the trade.

The trade initially shocked me.  I remember Tony Sparano saying not too long ago how Lorenzo Booker "jumped off the tape" when you watch film of last year.  But I guess picking up a 4th round pick was important to Miami and Booker isn't really a "Bill Parcells" kind of running back.

With that said, I think you will really like the kind of player Booker is.  He's very fast, but is even more elusive and agile then he is fast.  And he's got terrific hands out of the backfield.  He's not going to run between the tackles often, but he can be a very good return guy and a very shifty receiving back out of the backfield.  And I sincerely do with him the best of luck.  He seemed like a very good kid.

So Booker makes for a very interesting acquisition. The best part is that he should be able to have an impact right away. When Westbrook needs a breather, they can bring in Booker who plays the same way as Westbrook. He's obviously not as good as Westbrook overall, but it's a "like for like" substitution. When the Eagles would bring in Buckhalter or Hunt, they couldn't ask those guys to do the same things as they ask Westbrook to do. That will not be the case with Booker

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