Jonathon Brooks - RB - Texas

Jonathon Brooks was overshadowed in both his true freshman and redshirt freshman seasons as he had two NFL running backs ahead of him in the depth chart: Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson. But when both of those two went to the NFL in the 2023 NFL Draft, Brooks showed out and quickly became one of the best running backs in college football. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL in mid-November that has thrown a wrench into his 2024 NFL Draft outlook.

Measurables

Height: 6′ 0″

Weight: 216 lbs

Age: 21

40-yard dash: DNP

3-cone drill: DNP

20-yard shuttle: DNP

Vertical Jump: DNP

Broad Jump: DNP

Bench Press: DNP

*age is at the start of player’s rookie year

College Stats

Rushing & Receiving Table
RushingReceivingScrimmage
YearSchoolConfClassPosGAttYdsAvgTDRecYdsAvgTDPlaysYdsAvgTD
2021TexasBig 12FRRB4211436.8111212.00221557.01
*2022TexasBig 12FR7301976.6523718.51322347.36
*2023TexasBig 12SORB1118711396.1102528611.4121214256.711
CareerTexas23814796.2162833512.0226618146.818
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/25/2024.

Notable Headlines

Brooks was a low 4-star recruit out of high school per 247Sports and wasn’t a name talked about in many collegiate circles. He only played in four games as a true freshman and got a handful of touches here and there. As a redshirt freshman, he played in a few more games but his statistics didn’t take a big bump other than his 6 total touchdowns. In both of those two years, he played behind the best running back in collegiate football in Bijan Robinson as well as another back that would go in the fourth round to the Chicago Bears in Roschon Johnson. 

But finally, as a redshirt sophomore, Brooks had a real shot to win a starting role in the backfield but it wouldn’t be easy. He was competing against the #1 running back recruit in 2023 in CJ Baxter per 247Sports and another former 4-star recruit in Jaydon Blue. Brooks split his carries between at least one of the two for the first two games of the season, but by the third game, he had a stranglehold on the backfield and quickly became known as one of the best backs in college football. Unfortunately, during his hot streak, Brooks tore his ACL against TCU in mid-November. But despite that injury, Brooks decided to declare for the 2024 NFL Draft as a redshirt sophomore, believing he’d put enough on tape to earn his draft capital.

Scouting Report

Positives

Brooks might be one of the most complete backs in this class with both his size and skill set. He possesses good vision and solid burst to take advantage of the openings he gets at the line of scrimmage and into the second level. He has good enough speed for explosive plays, but will likely get tracked down by the faster defensive backs at the next level. But his speed control and ability to throttle down and back up are impressive and play a big part in his elusiveness and ability to make defenders miss. He won’t quite juke anyone out of their shoes, but he makes defenders miss just enough to create weak arm tackles instead of head-on collisions. And his contact balance is good enough to run through those arm tackles with ease.

As a receiver, he showed very reliable hands and an ability to extend outside of his frame and haul in off-target throws. He showed a solid ability to create yards after the catch and follow his blockers in the open field. He also showed a willingness and good ability in pass protection, although he was utilized in mostly check and releases.

Negatives

The elephant in the room when talking about Brooks is his injury in mid-November and the timeline that that creates. Due to his injury, he is likely to miss the entirety of off-season camps and may or may not be ready for the beginning of the season. If he is ready for the beginning of the season, it’s very unlikely that he will be full-go and will probably be in a limited role wherever he lands. This means he’s going to take patience from both fantasy managers and NFL teams. It’s going to take time for Brooks to get back to where he was just a few months ago, and fantasy managers like to think they have patience in the offseason. But when it gets to midway through the season and Brooks is on the field in a very limited capacity, the masses will be quick to turn.

Other than his injury, there aren’t a lot of major holes in Brooks’ game. His pass pro is good when he has a clear target, but at times he can get lost trying to identify an oncoming blitzer. And he has a lot of good to very good traits. But there aren’t very many “elite” traits on tape.

Pre Draft Analysis

Expected Draft Capital- Round 4

Landing Spots

Jonathon Brooks is a big mystery when it comes to his draft capital because it’s all going to depend on both Brooks’ medicals and the NFL team’s willingness to wait on his recovery. If Brooks gets back to where he was during the season, then he could easily be the best running back in this class. The Dallas Cowboys is a team that makes a lot of sense as they need a new running back to lean on this upcoming year. Tony Pollard moved on to the Tennessee Titans, leaving a void at the running back position. They could work with a running back by committee or bring in a cheaper veteran until Brooks gets up to speed and is back to 100%. And once Brooks is back, he has the potential to be the workhorse they generally lean on.

As always, if you want something more specific to your league- reach out! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram