Former Stanford defensive lineman Thomas Booker was drafted by the Houston Texas in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday.
“I’m so excited for Thomas Booker,” Stanford head coach David Shaw said. “He’s starting his career with Lovie Smith, one of the best defensive minds in the NFL. I know he will be a great addition to the defense, to the locker room and to the Houston community.”
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound senior was a four-star recruit who held offers from many elite programs, including Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan. The Maryland native elected to come to the Farm, and posted a four-year career filled with accolades.
Booker was a two-time member of the All-Pac-12 second team defensive line and was named to the All-Pac-12 first team all-purpose/special teams squad in 2020.
In 2021, Booker recorded 59 tackles, five of which were for a loss. He notched 50 tackles again in 2019 and was on pace to do so in 2020 before the season was cut to six games because of COVID-19.
Surprisingly, Booker’s most memorable moment on the Farm came on special teams, when he blocked a potential game-tying extra point with under a minute left in the 123rd Big Game. The block all but sealed a 24-23 Cardinal victory and sent The Axe back to Palo Alto.
Booker was also recognized often for his academic accomplishments. He was a William V. Campbell Trophy finalist and was named to the Senior CLASS Award first team and the CoSIDA Academic All-America first team twice. He is set to graduate with a double major in Communication and Economics, boasting a 3.89 GPA.
Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network wrote pre-draft that “Booker is a smart, assignment-sound player who understands micro-movements and has good spatial awareness. While his hand usage can be more refined, he shows flashes there as well. The Stanford DT can club his opponent’s frame and get displacement, and he’s shown he can stack finesse and power moves mid-rep.”
In Houston, Booker will join his former quarterback Davis Mills ’21, the projected starter who was drafted by the Texans in last year’s third round. He is the fifth Cardinal drafted by the Texans, joining Brandon Harrison ’07, Justin Reid ’18, Peter Kalambayi ’17 and Mills.