Panthers get instant-starter in Texas RB Jonathon Brooks

Texas has its fourth player drafted in 2024 with the Carolina Panthers selecting RB Jonathon Brooks 46th overall.
Jonathon Brooks, Texas football
Jonathon Brooks, Texas football / Ricardo Brazziell / USA TODAY NETWORK

With the 46th overall pick in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers selected former Texas football junior running back Jonathon Brooks. The first running back selected in the 2024 NFL Draft, Brooks continues the run of Texas players getting taken off the board late on Day 1 and early on Day 2.

Texas football RB Jonathon Brooks selected by the Carolina Panthers in the 2024 NFL Draft

Despite the ACL injury that ended his season in mid-November, the Panthers saw Brooks as worth the risk in this year's draft. If Brooks continues to rehab well this offseason, he will challenge for reps in the Panthers' backfield alongside Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders.

Hubbard was the Panthers' leading rusher last season, with just over 900 yards and five rushing touchdowns. Sanders registered just over 400 rushing yards for the Panthers last season.

The Panthers continue to try and build their offense around former Alabama Crimson Tide second-year quarterback Bryce Young this offseason. In the first round of the draft, the Panthers selected former South Carolina Gamecocks standout wide receiver Xavier Legette.

Carolina added to the supporting cast for Young at the skill positions by using their first pick in the second round on Brooks. The 6-foot and 216-pound Hallettsville, TX, native Brooks gives the Panthers a versatile back who can impact the game as a rusher, receiver, and a blocker in the backfield.

Before he was knocked out for the remainder of the season due to the aforementioned knee injury, Brooks was having a career-year for the Longhorns. He registered his first campaign with over 1,000 rushing yards and double-digit rushing touchdowns in 2023.

Brooks has good hands, excellent vision to find open rushing lanes, and is elusive when he's working in space.

The expectation for Brooks regarding his injury status is that he will be ready for the start of NFL Training Camp and the preseason.

Texas RB development reaching elite levels in the NFL Draft

This is the second straight year that the top running back selected in the NFL Draft is from Texas. Last year, the Atlanta Falcons took star running back Bijan Robinson off the board as the first player selected at the position, eighth overall in the first round.

We had to wait a bit longer for the first running back name to be called this year in the draft. But Brooks continues to show the elite level of running back development on the Forty Acres under head coach Steve Sarkisian and RB coach Tashard Choice.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the other Texas running back selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, Roschon Johnson. The Chicago Bears got a steal by selecting Johnson in the middle picks in the fourth round of the 2023 draft.

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