The biggest issue with Thomas Booker will be how he projects at the next level. Because of his size in school, he was a little bit of a tweener and it wasn’t clear if he’s stronger as a 3-tech or a 5-tech. He started as a defensive end before bulking up in 2020 to move to the inside. Leading up to the Shrine Bowl, Booker put on 30 lbs to prepare to complete his move inside.
DT – #4 Stanford
Year: Redshirt Junior
High School: Gilman (Baltimore, MD)
HS Rating: 4 star (0.9032)
Phil Steele: PS32
Thomas Booker scouting report
Decent speed and athletic ability, but not great. Very quick especially off his first step. Was asked to play spy a bit against Jayden Daniels and was not successful. Lacks the lateral quickness to fill that role. Is quick enough to change his direction while working against blockers and switch sides effectively.
Very strong upper body. Stout lower body to get push with his intensity. Decent brute power. Average overall but is a very intense player who keeps the pedal to the metal. Nasty first step. So difficult to anticipate. Explosive threat. Good bounce and step. Intense. Drew double teams relatively often at Stanford. Didn’t show much consistency winning double team draws. Hand placement could be better. Won’t win reps when he has to use his hands to work off the block.
Doesn’t show much of an ability to work off of the block, especially inside, with his hands or arms. Very limited on his second move. Doesn’t have a clear plan. Not a particularly great tackler but can get the job done inside of the box. Will struggle with defending space at times. Has some athletic ability but more athletic offensive playmakers will make him look silly. Recognition is typically good. Isn’t often out of place. Pass rush consistency is hit or miss. If he’s having success off of his first move, he can get in the backfield consistently.
A lot of Thomas Booker’s projection lies on his testing and measurables at the Combine. Since Booker has put on so much tape, and looked just as explosive if not more at the Shrine Bowl, teams will be looking to see if there is any difference in his movement ability with the additional weight.
We think that he will live up to his projection and the expectations. We like what he brings as a 3-tech defender in either a 3-4 front or a 4-3. We like him in the second/third round range.