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20 days, 20 Broncos camp questions -- 19. What will Devontae Booker's role be?

Posted Jul 26, 2016

He will be in a tough competition for playing time behind C.J. Anderson, but if he stays healthy, he has a chance at a significant role.

If he can prove his full health and his ability to handle all aspects of the job, he could be the No. 2 running back and edge ahead of veterans like Ronnie Hillman, Juwan Thompson (who is also in the mix at fullback) and Kapri Bibbs.

Given Booker's status as a fourth-round pick, he is likely to be on the 53-man roster if he completes his full recovery from the meniscus injury that resulted in two surgeries, including one last February that sidelined him at the Combine and limited him in pre-draft workouts.

But the extent of his role will be determined by how sharp he can cut, how quickly he can accelerate and how well he can square up on the knee when he has to get involved in pass protection.

Booker said Tuesday he feels that he is "all past that." He said he spent the downtime after OTAs in Denver, continuing his rehabilitation work.

Devontae Booker

"Cuts and straight lines are all back to normal, so I feel good," he said.

"I really confident about it. I’m just here to compete and do what I need to do for the team so I can get out and play a lot this year. I think I’m relied on heavily by some of the coaches to exceed expectations, and I believe that I will do so."

It helps that he was able to make a gradual recovery and not be rushed into service. By the final week of OTAs, he saw some team-period repetitions.

Through that work, he realized that the Broncos' zone-blocking based scheme was perfect for him -- something that appeared evident from his Utah film, as he read blocks and made the decisive single cuts upfield the scheme demands.

"I don’t think I could have landed in a better situation here in this offensive scheme," Booker said. "I’m going to do everything I can to go out there and play my butt off. It’s why I can play."

And if he plays better than his experienced competition, he could be the primary backup behind Anderson.

MORE 20 QUESTIONS:

1. How will they replace Malik Jackson?
2. What will Roby provide in his third year?
3. What's next at long snapper?
4. Will DT have a bounce-back season?
5. What must Heuerman show this summer?
6. Will Green show he can be the No. 1 option at TE?
7. Who could start a new undrafted streak?
8. How long will it take the new OTs to get up to speed?
9. Who could emerge to handle kickoff and punt returns?
10. Who will be the No. 3 safety?
11. Are Barrett and Ray ready for bigger roles?
12. Who emerges as the No. 3 WR behind Thomas and Sanders?
13. Who steps up at ILB alongside Marshall?
14. What must Sanchez show to be the starter?
15. Is Paradis ready to step forward as a leader on the O-line?
16. What must Sambrailo and Garcia show in Year Two?
17. Which young CBs are ready to push for more playing time?
18. Will the best camp competition actually be at punter?