June 24, 2024

Carolina Panthers rookie running back Jonathon Brooks was enjoying a breakout season with the Texas Longhorns when he suffered a significant injury that brought his momentum to a halt.

The 20-year-old tore his right ACL during a victory over the TCU Horned Frogs in November of last year, forcing him to miss the remainder of his final college season in Austin. Despite amassing 1,139 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in his third season at Texas, Brooks’ journey to the NFL faced a major obstacle due to the late-season knee injury and subsequent surgery.

NFL Draft 2024: Fantasy football outlook for Panthers RB Jonathon Brooks -  DraftKings Network

The setback didn’t deter the Panthers, who selected Brooks as the first running back off the board on Day 2 of the draft, trading two fifth-round picks to move up and secure him with the 46th overall pick. General Manager Dan Morgan expressed the team’s enthusiasm for Brooks, considering him the best running back in the draft class and praising his overall skill set.

Although Brooks wasn’t able to participate in drills at the NFL Scouting Combine or his college program’s pro day due to his recovery, the Panthers conducted a thorough evaluation of his medical status during a pre-draft visit. Both the team and the rookie running back are confident in his progress, with Brooks expected to be cleared for training camp, which coincides with his 21st birthday in July.

One of the factors that made Brooks stand out to the Panthers was his versatility. During his time at Texas, he demonstrated the ability to contribute in both the running and passing games, making him a valuable asset for Carolina’s offense.

While Brooks will face competition in the Panthers’ running back room, he is eager to learn from veterans like Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders while embracing the pressure that comes with being the top running back selected in his draft class.

With his recovery progressing well and his determination to excel at the next level, Brooks is poised to make an impact for the Panthers as he embarks on his NFL journey.

Jonathon Brooks drafted by Carolina Panthers - University of Texas Athletics

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