Austin Booker at Kansas
Photo credit: Bleacher Report

Bears' Rookie DE Austin Booker Gains Mentorship from 3-Time Pro Bowler

Published May 14, 2024 at 8:41

The Chicago Bears have taken a chance on edge defender Austin Booker, hoping to mold him into a premier NFL pass rusher. Fortunately, the Bears' coaching team isn't alone in nurturing his potential.

Following a rookie minicamp session on Saturday, May 11, Booker shared with the media that he has been in touch with Maxx Crosby, a three-time Pro Bowler and edge rusher for the Las Vegas Raiders. Crosby has offered guidance as Booker starts his journey in the professional arena.

"We both train with Javon Gopie during the offseason, and he connected us," Booker explained. "After the draft, Maxx reached out to me. He encouraged me to contact him anytime I needed advice, highlighting his effective routine and high-level performance as resources I could learn from."

When asked what specific aspects of Crosby's regimen he hoped to adopt, Booker expressed his eagerness to absorb everything possible. "From nutrition to his mobility routine, I want to incorporate all I can from him and other experienced players into my own practices," he said.

Drafted in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft (144th overall), the 6-foot 4.5-inch, 240-pound Booker boasts impressive stats from his time with the Kansas Jayhawks. In his last season, he recorded 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks over 12 games, according to Football Reference.

Touted for his significant potential, Booker could soon prove to be a draft steal for the Bears. "The Bears traded a 2025 fourth-round pick to re-enter this year's draft and secure Booker—a move that could pay dividends sooner rather than later," noted Trevor Sikkema from Pro Football Focus. "With 38 pressures and nine sacks in 2023, along with a 14.8% pass-rush win rate, he shows immediate promise as a specialized pass-rusher and the potential to develop into a full-time player."

Echoing this sentiment, Dane Brugler from The Athletic remarked, "Booker could have been a Day 2 pick. Although not yet prepared for a significant role, his adeptness at pass-rushing suggests we might view this as a pivotal pick a few years down the line."
May 14   |   36 answers
Bears' Rookie DE Austin Booker Gains Mentorship from 3-Time Pro Bowler

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