Best NFL fits for Texas standout running back Jonathon Brooks in the 2024 NFL Draft

Jonathon Brooks an enticing option for these 3 NFC teams.
NFL Combine - Jonathon Brooks
NFL Combine - Jonathon Brooks / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

Jonathon Brooks was trending as a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft before tearing his ACL in a game against TCU back in November. With that knee progressing on schedule, the Texas standout running back is projected to be full speed by training camp.

Although the injury scaled him back a bit as far as where he will go in the draft, Brooks is still ranked as the top running back on the board by PFF who notes his dynamic ability as a big reason he will be successful in the NFL.

After stepping out of the shadows of former Texas teammate Bijan Robinson, Brooks flourished into the spotlight as the Longhorns featured back in 2023.  In 11 games played, Brooks led Texas with 1,139 rushing yards and 10 rushing TD’s, he also caught the ball 25 times for 286 yards.  That dual-threat ability makes him a prime prospect for NFL teams who like utilizing running backs in open space.  Even coming off the ACL injury, that is where Books will excel.

With three-down back potential,’s Lance Zierlein sees a lot of Jamaal Charles in Brooks.

Zierlein writes:

“The comparison of Brooks to former Longhorn Jamaal Charles might feel lazy to some, but he has similar size and traits as a runner. Brooks' limited collegiate carries could be seen as a balancing agent against the fact he's coming off an ACL tear. He's agile and smooth working from cut to cut and is likely to improve his feel for reading blocks and setting up defenders as he gains experience. Brooks has the wiggle and know-how to create yardage in tight quarters or in space but is efficient finishing runs when it's time. He has good burst but can be a little hesitant to punch the gas between the tackles until he sees clear points of entry, and he isn't a physical run finisher.”

The 6-foot-0, 216-pound Brooks is a first-round talent who could fall to Day 2 or Day 3.  That will benefit teams who may be a running back away from something special or a team seeking to fill a void at the position.  In other words, there is probably not an NFL team that wouldn’t take a shot at Books in the second or third round.

As far as need, here are the 3 best fits for Jonathon Brooks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Green Bay Packers: Jonathon Brooks would be the best player available

The Packers released Aaron Jones in the offseason but made a splash by signing former Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs in NFL Free agency.  Green Bay also re-signed AJ Dillion to give Matt LaFleur a nice 1-2 punch in the backfield in 2024.

2024 NFL Draft prospect Jonathon Brooks
NFL Combine - Jonathon Brooks / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

While Jacobs brings a combination of power and speed, Dillion gives them that short yardage back.  What’s missing is a change of pace back who can also catch the ball out of the backfield.  That is where Jonathon Brooks will be a fit for the Packers.  The question is whether the Packers should use their second-round pick for him considering they just signed Jacobs.

Well, you can never have enough good backs and if a talent like Brooks is available for the taking, the Packers head coach isn’t ruling it out.

“I’m a big believer you need to have multiple running backs to carry the ball,” LaFleur said at the NFL Annual Meeting via Sports Illustrated.  “Certainly, Josh has proven that he can, but I think in a perfect world, we’d be splitting those carries up between two and there backs, not just one.”

The Packers have a lot of nice young talent surrounding Jordan Love on the offensive side of the football.  Adding Brooks will add even more flexibility to Green Bay’s offense.

New York Giants find their Sequon Barkley replacement

The New York Giants lost Sequon Barkley in NFL free agency to a division rival.  Will they use the draft to find his replacement?

The Giants will have several opportunities to select one of the top running backs on Day 2 or in in the middle of the draft (Round 4 or 5).  If Brooks is a player who is there when they select on either of their Day 2 picks (No. 47 or No. 70), they should pull the trigger because Brooks is similar in size and skillset as Barkley so he would fit right in as far as how the Giants will use him.

His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield as well as run between the tackles will earn him immediate playing time with the Giants if he is indeed 100 percent healthy.  If he is and returns to the player he was prior to his injury at Texas, then this NFC East squad will get another first round talent at No. 47.  If he’s there at No. 70, a big-time steal for the Giants.

Dallas Cowboys find their Tony Pollard replacement?

Another NFC East team looking to replace a top running back lost in NFL free agency are the Dallas Cowboys.  Even before Tony Pollard took his talents to the Tennessee Titans, the Cowboys were probably going to target a running back in the 2024 NFL Draft.

2024 NFL Draft prospect Jonathon Brooks
Texas running back Jonathon Brooks / Tim Warner/GettyImages

While they can still sign a running back in free agency, perhaps reunite with Ezekiel Elliot or a veteran like Dalvin Cook, the Cowboys will be exploring the draft.

"We're looking at the draft, too," Cowboys Chief Operating Officer Stephen Jones said, via the Cowboys official website. "We don't have an established [RB] in the organization right now. It's something we'll be looking at — in terms of getting young there again. But I wouldn't be surprised if we also address it [in free agency]."

This is where Jonathan Brooks makes sense for the Cowboys.  If they do bring on another veteran, drafting Brooks gives them a back with tremendous upside as he will be sharing snaps or competing for snaps with Rico Dowdle who the team re-signed in free agency, Hunter Luepke and Deuce Vaughn.

Out of that group, Brooks would give the Cowboys a back with the capability of Elliott and Pollard, if not more explosive and dynamic if he is fully ready to go.