Jonathon Brooks’ Draft Profile | Texas, RB Scouting Report

Following in the footsteps of Bijan Robinson, what does Texas RB Jonathon Brooks bring to the table with his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report?

A year after Texas product Bijan Robinson went in the top 10, can fellow Longhorn Jonathon Brooks challenge for early-round capital with his 2024 NFL Draft scouting report? Here’s what Brooks has to offer at the NFL level.

Jonathon Brooks Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’0 3/8″
  • Weight: 216 pounds
  • Length: 31 1/2″
  • Wingspan: 75 7/8″
  • Hand: 9 1/4″
  • Position: Running back
  • School: Texas
  • Current Year: Redshirt sophomore

You won’t find bigger shoes to fill than Robinson’s.

Robinson was a generational star for the Texas program and captivated the campus from Day 1. He was anticipated as a first-round prospect as early as his freshman season and ended up going to the Atlanta Falcons at eighth overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Robinson left big shoes to fill at Texas, and yet, Brooks filled them with ease. After spending his first two seasons as a rotational back behind Robinson and Roschon Johnson, Brooks stepped into the starting lineup and dominated in 2023.

In 11 games, Brooks accumulated 1,139 yards and 10 touchdowns on 187 carries, averaging over six yards per attempt. He also caught 25 passes from Quinn Ewers, racking up 286 yards and an additional score through the air.

A torn ACL suffered in November ended Brooks’ season prematurely, and some expected him to return to school. But the former four-star recruit instead declared for the 2024 NFL Draft. Assuming he can get back to 100%, he boasts exciting potential for NFL teams.

Brooks’ Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Smooth long-strider who can accelerate up seams and utilize second-level creases.
  • Certified slasher with the flexibility to manipulate tracking angles while staying vertical.
  • Once he gears up, has the vertical speed to stretch seams and generate chunk plays.
  • Can use subtle tempo modulations and bouts of acceleration to warp tackling angles.
  • Flashes impressive short-area twitch, foot speed, and agility when creating space.
  • Has the stride freedom to suddenly retract and work DBs off-balance in the open field.
  • Has the swivel freedom to realign his base, evade early contact threats, and drive.
  • Can use his hip fluidity, urgent strides, and spatial feel to slither through congestion.
  • Has the vision to survey and quickly diagnose optimal secondary lanes on zone runs.
  • Instinctively flows up gaps and is very comfortable peeling past blocks with little space.
  • Able to press and cut behind pulling blockers to draw defenders out of adjacent lanes.
  • Boasts exceptional patience behind the line and can use micro-movements to navigate.
  • Has great feel for when to wait and when to throttle up and attack holes.
  • Shows glimpses of wiry strength and absorption at contact and can finish forward.
  • Stellar utility presence with great RAC, hands, versatility, and willingness as a blocker.

Weaknesses

  • Played below 210 pounds in college, raising questions about Combine weight.
  • Doesn’t have the mass to consistently bowl through would-be tacklers and sustain drive.
  • Can be dragged down by sound arm tackles and lacks the force to counteract.
  • Doesn’t have elite explosiveness when attacking space, functioning better with runways.
  • Change-of-direction, while very good, may fall below the quantifiably elite mark.
  • Sometimes lacks the initial burst to clear backside pursuit threats off the exchange.
  • Can occasionally be prone to indecision and hesitation when interior lanes are occluded.
  • Has room to be more confident and minimalistic with his footwork on gap runs.
  • At times, can be more efficient with one-cut footwork to avoid losing positioning.
  • Sometimes loses his balance on cuts behind the line, and can be more controlled.
  • Sometimes goes on auto-pilot and passes up opportunities to bounce runs outside.
  • Suffered a torn ACL in his right knee in November of the 2023 season.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Brooks grades out as a top 100 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and a potential early-round option for teams in need of a running back. Past his natural talent, Brooks also has three-down utility and the skill set required to accommodate gap, counter, and zone schemes.

Despite being a high-pedigree player with natural talent, Brooks is more of a high-floor prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft whose ceiling as a playmaker is somewhat questionable.

Brooks’ primary function is one that he carries out very well. He’s an instinctive runner across multiple schematic looks, and once he reaches the second level after flowing through gaps, he excels at slashing upfield with his bend, build-up speed, and flexibility, using his angle awareness to set up blocks.

MORE: Top RBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

With his sharp vertical running ability, Brooks can carve his way upfield and generate solid gains at a high clip, and he also has the patience and foot speed to wait for optimal lanes to open up behind the line.

For Brooks, the questions come from his lack of elite burst and play strength. He doesn’t quite have the initial explosiveness necessary to evade early contact threats consistently, and he’s also not an overwhelming presence at contact. He can be brought down by solo tacklers, and his lower-body drive as a runner is inconsistent.

Brooks makes up for his deficient ceiling with his utility across the running and passing phases. He’s quietly a versatile, well-versed receiving back who can run routes out of the backfield, chip and seep into the flats, make catches beyond his frame, and accrue run-after-catch (RAC) yardage. And as a blocker, he’s willing, physical, and plays square to opponents.

Without high-end explosiveness or play strength, Brooks may never be a top-flight running threat in the NFL, and while he has stellar vision and creative instincts, he’s not quite at the level of consistency to counteract his non-elite physical traits.

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Nevertheless, in the right range — mid-to-late Day 2 or early on Day 3 — Brooks can be an exceptional addition to an RB rotation. Provided that he doesn’t lose any burst after recovering from a torn ACL, he can be a solid-if-unspectacular scheme-versatile starter at RB, with passing down upside.

All the 2024 NFL Draft resources you need — the draft order, the top QBs, the Top 100 prospects, and the full 2024 Big Board — right at your fingertips at Pro Football Network!

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