3. Austin Booker
Booker has emerged as the top defensive lineman for Kansas, filling the void that Lonnie Phelps left when he departed for the league. After transferring in from Minnesota this offseason, the edge rusher has recorded 38 tackles (nine TFL). Additionally, his six sacks rank fourth in the Big 12.
Although he had hardly played at the collegiate level prior to arriving in Lawrence, it didn’t take long for him to make an impact with defensive ends coach Taiwo Onatolu’s unit. He is explosive off the edge and has become more of a factor in run defense as the season has progressed.
At 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, Booker owns elite traits that could take him to tremendous heights in the NFL. He is extremely athletic and has carved out a future for himself at the next level with his tremendous showings in 2023.
If he would like to, he can enter the NFL Draft following the conclusion of this year. However, it would be wise for him to wait another season so he can rise in pre-draft rankings. I think he will only last one more year at KU, and if he continues to dominate, we could see him landing in the top 100.
NFL Draft Projection: Mid 3rd-to-Late-5th Round Pick (2024)