Jalen Mills, Devontae Booker Among Late Round Picks with the Best Change of Making it Big in the NFL
You would be surprised to see when some of the stars of today’s NFL where drafted. Brandon Marshall, Elvis Dumervil, and Jared Allen were all fourth round selections in their respective drafts, Robert Mathis and Josh Norman didn’t hear their names called until the fifth round; Matt Hasselbeck and Pierre Garcon were sixth rounders, and the legendary Donald Driver was a seventh round selection. And that doesn’t even include players like Tony Romo, who weren’t even drafted.
Sure, being taken on the third day of the NFL Draft isn’t ideal. You won’t be making $20 million over the course of your rookie contract, but it’s by no means a death sentence.
Among those in the late rounds of the 2016 NFL Draft with the best chance of reaching stardom in the big leagues are Utah running back Devontae Booker (Denver Broncos, 4th round, No. 136 overall) and LSU safety Jalen Mills (Philadelphia Eagles, 7th round, No. 233 overall).
For Booker, there’s no better situation to be drafted into. The Broncos are coming off of a Super Bowl 50 win with a stellar defense and a run game that could use a little bit of help. C.J. Anderson is expected to play the biggest role this season with Ronnie Hillman close behind; however, Booker can earn his touches on third-and-short passing situations as he is better coming out of the backfield than both the Broncos’ current RBs.
Gary Kubiak loves to run, screen, and roll out, so Booker’s combination of pass-blocking and pass-catching should make him a contributor early in his career with a chance to take over more responsibility as the others move on.
Mills, on the other hand, is an early-round talent with off-field issues and injuries igniting the free fall. Mills seriously messed up his leg in August; however, he was able to return despite rumors that his football days were over.
Much like fellow former LSU standout Tyrann Mathieu, the problems should be correctable, and Mills has a very high ceiling talent-wise.