Jonathon Brooks: Top running back in 2024 NFL Draft ready to make a healthy impact in the NFL

Jonathon Brooks ready to excel in the NFL.
Texas Longhorns running back Jonathon Brooks
Texas Longhorns running back Jonathon Brooks / Tim Warner/GettyImages

Jonathon Brooks is the most intriguing running back in the 2024 NFL Draft.  If it wasn’t for an ACL tear suffered back in November, the Texas Longhorn star would be a lock as a first-round pick because of the versatility and explosion he brings to the table.

That should still be the case.  According to mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, Brooks’ surgically repaired knee is progressing nicely, which puts him on schedule to be ready and healthy to participate in training camp this summer. 

But with ACL tears, it could take a full season of football activities for a player to get back to 100 percent.  That means some team is going to get a potentially elite running back on Day 2 or Day 3 of the draft.

2024 NFL Draft prospects: Why Jonathon Brooks is an intriguing Day 2 selection

With a career 1,479 rushing yards and 335 receiving yards during his career with Texas, Brooks is a dual threat running back who was starting to come into his own as the featured back for the Longhorns.  Then the injury happened and now NFL teams must remember his potential and how he performs in individual NFL workouts. 

The talent to be one of the best running backs, if not the best back in this draft is there. At 6-foot-0, 216 pounds, Brooks has the size, acceleration and quickness to excel his game at the NFL level.  One college football analyst believes Brooks can have the same impact of former Texas teammate Bijan Robinson, who had a stellar rookie season with the Atlanta Falcons.

In his recent college football podcast, The Joel Klatt Show, Klatt ranked Brooks No. 7 amongst the 10 “Plant the Flag” players of the 2024 NFL Draft.  What Klatt sees in Brooks is a back who brings a similar skillset as the top young running backs in the NFL.

“This is a player I believe will have a lot of success in the National Football League,” Klatt said. He might not be as dynamic as Bijan Robinson, which is why he won’t go in the first round, or maybe even Jahmyr Gibbs. But he possesses similar qualities as those guys in that he can do everything that you require a running back to do from the backfield, and he can be a threat catching the football.”

Coming off a season in which he still rushed for 1,139 yards with 10 touchdowns, Brooks was on the road to be a mid-to-late round pick.  Now he is projected as a Day 2 pick who could fall right into the hands of a team like the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers or Dallas Cowboys.  Each of those teams are on the market for a back like Brooks who can run between the tackles and serve as the type of back who could run routes.  Kind of what the Giants had in Sequon Barkley and the Cowboys with Tony Pollard, both players signed with other teams in free agency.

In summary, if Jonathon  Brooks  is at full strength, a team is going to get a future star at the position without using a first-round pick.