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Austin Booker Goes to Chicago Bears in Fifth Round of 2024 NFL Draft

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (KUAthletics.com) – Kansas Football standout defensive lineman Austin Booker was selected in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft on Saturday, chosen by the Chicago Bears at pick No. 144.

Booker becomes the second Jayhawk selected in the 2024 NFL Draft, joining offensive lineman Dominick Puni, who was picked in the third round at No. 86 by the San Francisco 49ers. This is the first time since 2015 that Kansas has had multiple players selected in the NFL Draft. Booker becomes the first Kansas defensive end drafted since Dorance Armstrong Jr. was a fourth-round pick, No. 116, by the Dallas Cowboys in 2018.

Booker made an immediate impact in his first season at KU, ranking second in the Big 12 with 8.0 sacks and sixth with 12.0 tackles for loss. In total, he had 56 tackles, including 40 solo and 16 assists, while forcing two fumbles and recording one pass defended. Booker had a season-high nine tackles at Oklahoma State and a season-high 2.0 sacks in KU’s home win over Illinois.

“I had an amazing visit [to Chicago] … I know I will be in good hands going forward,” Booker said after being selected. “I’m 21, so I know that I have a lot of years ahead of me to get stronger and get faster, so I’m just looking to keep growing in the NFL.”

From Greenwood, Indiana, Booker was named an All-Big 12 First Team selection and the Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year following the season. He was then invited to participate in the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine and the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Booker developed into an NFL Draft pick after transferring to Kansas from Minnesota.