NAME: Alex Bookser
POSITION: Offensive Tackle
JERSEY: No. 78
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 310 lbs
Bookser has bounced back and forth between right guard and right tackle but is projected to play outside at tackle for his final season at Pittsburgh. For an Panthers offensive line that lost three starters to either graduation or the NFL, Bookser is being looked at to be the veteran leader and anchor of the unit.
There are some appealing components to Booker’s game, mainly his play strength which allows him to absorb contact and flashes the ability to redirect. He has a stout anchor and doesn’t give ground when he is square to his opponent. Secondly, his experience at multiple positions offers the versatility NFL teams look for to round out a position group.
For Bookser to prove himself as a draft-worthy prospect, showcasing improvements athletically is critical. Bookser has notably tight hips and heavy feet that make it difficult for him to keep up with edge rushers around the arc. While his length is an asset, his lack of footspeed and fluidity present a challenge. He must operate with better leverage and body control to stay more consistently square to his opponents and maximize his play strength.
Bookser does come with some baggage in the form of a DUI arrest in May of 2017 so reaming clean off the field is vital for him moving forward. In a weak conference of offensive tackles, Bookser has a chance to take a step forward in 2018 if he can improve.