BEARS TRADE: Chicago Bears have sign a great deal of $89.9million for Kansas edge Austin Booker…

Chicago Bears trade back into the 2024 NFL Draft, select Kansas edge Austin Booker.

Acquiring the No. 144 overall pick from the Buffalo Bills, the Bears selected Kansas edge rusher Austin Booker.

Booker’s addition helps the Bears’ defensive line and pass rush.

“I got speed. I got length,” Booker said. “Being able to use all those at once is a gift.”

The Bears traded back into the 2024 NFL Draft after having only four picks. Their selection of Booker is an investment, too.

Seen as a work in progress, Booker starred in his lone year Kansas during the 2023 season. Booker was at Minnesota for two seasons before transferring to Kansas.

He agreed with being described as a raw prospect. After all, plenty of other players are 22- or 23-years old. Booker is younger.

“I’m 21 so I know I have a lot of years ahead of me,” Booker said. “Just looking forward to keep growing in the NFL.”

Booker was a First-team All-Big 12 Conference player and the Big 12 Conference Defensive Newcomer of the Year. He led the Jayhawks with 12 tackles for loss and eight sacks.

He only started one game in 2023, but still recorded 56 tackles, one pass break up and two forced fumbles.

“Booker needs to get bigger and stronger, but that will come,” NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein wrote in his analysis of Booker. “The diversity of his rush approach is unheard of for a player with so little playing time. He can stride and dip at the top of the rush or beat tackles back inside with a Euro step or spin counter.”

The reason Booker is seen as a raw talent is because he’s just 21-years old. He could have comeback for another season in Lawrence, but opted to go pro as his draft profile rose after a standout season.

“I feel like I was mentally, physically ready to be at the high level,” Booker said. “Strike when the iron’s hot.:

Ironically, the Bears traded with the Buffalo Bills for the No. 144 overall pick, which was the Bears’ original pick in the fifth round. The Bears sent that pick to Buffalo for veteran offensive lineman Ryan Bates.

According to NFL Network, the Bears traded next year’s fourth-round selection to trade back into the 2024 fifth round and take Booker.

Booker becomes the fifth defensive lineman Bears general manager Ryan Poles has drafted in his three drafts as the Bears’ GM. This lists includes Dominique Robinson in 2022, as well as Gervon Dexter Sr., Zacch Pickens and Travis Bell in 2023.

The Bears got that pick back and improved their defensive line.

“It’s just a great opportunity,” Booker said. “We about to get to work. I’m just excited.”


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