CHOOOO CHOOOO, all aboard. Welcome to the Devontae Booker bandwagon, I’m driving!

(Full disclosure: I’m a Ute. I was born in Utah, most of my family lives in Utah, and I was practically raised in the John M. Huntsman Center and Rice Stadium – now called Rice-Eggles Stadium. So needless to say, I’m a little biased, and I’ve been on the Booker train for three years now.)

Having watched Booker’s career blossom from promising JUCO transfer to Denver Broncos starter has been a treat. I’ve watched every game he has played in the last three years. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that he is the perfect running back for the 2016 Denver Broncos.

Denver’s struggles running the ball are no secret; they rank 14th in rushing offense and are averaging 111 yards a game. On the surface, those numbers look decent thanks in large part to the 190 combined yards Booker and C.J. Anderson dropped on the Texans Monday night. But when you dig deeper and notice that Broncos only ran for 168 yards combined in their losses to Atlanta and San Diego, you realize just how anemic Denver’s rushing attack has been this season.

The Broncos desperately need a consistent ground game to hide their deficiencies on offense, namely at the quarterback position. It’s become pretty clear that Trevor Siemian (or Paxton Lynch) alone isn’t going to win games for this team. The Broncos need to rely on a solid rushing attack to control games, because they’ve yet to prove they can do that through the air.

Not all the blame for the offensive woes falls at the feet of the quarterbacks. The offensive line also shoulders some responsibility. They haven’t consistently opened up the holes necessary for Anderson to succeed. But they’ve been put in a tough spot because they’re being asked to run a zone-blocking scheme for a running back that doesn’t flourish in that system. It’s been square peg, round hole.

Anderson isn’t particularly fast to the line of scrimmage nor has he shown the ability to pick a hole, plant his foot and go. Anderson is a back who needs everything to go right. He needs the line to open exactly the right gap. If all goes according to plan Anderson can hit the desired hole and bowling ball his way down the field. When things break down Anderson is nothing more than a “3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust” back. It’s painful to watch. Booker, to the contrary, thrives at finding a hole, making a cut and going. It’s precisely what he did for three years for the Utes.

Kyle Whittingham and Gary Kubiak have very similar philosophies when it comes to running the ball; it’s one-cut and go. They need backs that can be quick and decisive. Broncos’ fans got their first real taste of Booker doing just that against the Texans. He can turn the smallest sliver of daylight into an 8-yard gain.

In fact, most years Utah’s offensive line is comparable to that of the 2016 Denver Broncos. They have a couple of studs and a couple duds. Booker is used to not having every run play produce big, perfect holes. He’s great at making do with what the offensive line gives him and making unblocked defenders miss (as opposed to Anderson just running into them). And, when need be, Booker has the power to run people over.

Booker has all the attributes to make an average offensive line look good. He has quick feet, great hands, great vision, makes quick decisions, he’s very shifty and he can carry the workload. During his two years at Utah he ran the ball 560 times. He isn’t a player who runs for 15 yards then heads to the sideline for a breather. He’s the perfect back for the Denver Broncos and the Denver Broncos are the perfect team for him.

Losing a player like C.J. Anderson is never easy. He’s well liked in the locker room and is a team leader, but he simply wasn’t getting it done on the field. You never want to see a player get hurt, but his injury has created the opportunity for Denver to utilize a running back who’s skill set aligns perfectly with the system and personnel on the field.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to jump on the Devontae Booker bandwagon; from experience, I can promise you wont be disappointed.