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NFL Draft Profile – RB Jonathon Brooks

By Doug Orth | 4/14/24 |

Jonathon Brooks


College: Texas
Height/Weight: 6' 0"/216
Hands: 9 1/4"
Age: 21 (at the time of the 2024 season opener)

Important NFL Combine Numbers

40-Yard Dash: N/A
Vertical Jump: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A
20-Yard Shuttle: N/A
3-Cone: N/A

College Production (Stats)

High-end NFL Player Comp(s): Aaron Jones

Low-end NFL Player Comp(s): Rachaad White

Best Scheme Fit: Universal. His patience and vision probably make him a better fit in a zone-running scheme. He should be able to handle a lead-back role early in his NFL career and handle heavy work as a mismatch weapon in the passing game.

Best Team Fit(s): Chargers, Cowboys, Cardinals, Saints, Raiders, Giants

Non-bolded times - Good examples of attribute
Bolded times - Average/poor examples of attribute

Position-Specific Attributes and Grades
Attribute Att Grade Scale Examples
Burst/Explosiveness 9.0 10.0

4:28, 21:49, 23:14, 27:11, 28;11, 30:31, 45:52, 55:12

Contact Balance 9.5 10.0

0:35, 2:42, 4:03, 5:19, 8:48, 8:56, 10:17, 21:03

5:46, 10:41, 24:14, 51:20

Instincts/Patience/Vision 9.5 10.0

1:03, 1:33, 4:28, 5:56, 7:02, 8:56, 12:53, 23:14, 45:52

11:12, 23:05

Power/Tackle-Breaking Ability 8.5 10.0

0:35, 4:28, 5:55, 6:41, 8:48, 10:17, 10:59, 21:03, 21:49

3:58, 11:12, 20:09, 48:18

Quickness/Elusiveness 9.0 10.0

1:33, 4:28, 4:28, 5:46, 7:02, 8:56, 23:14, 23:55, 42:47

22:28, 32:14

Route-Running/Hands 8.5 10.0

5:14, 10:20, 24:30, 27:11, 55:12, 57:27

Ball Security 5.5 6.0

4:28, 10:17, 33:31

2:06, 53:04

Pass Protection 4.5 6.0

2:14, 3:26, 8:06

Durability 2.0 4.0

4:15, 62:12

Long Speed 3.0 4.0

8:48, 10:20, 23:14, 28;11, 30:31, 55:12

Film Grade 69.0 80.0
Pre-Draft Fantasy Prospect Grade* (out of 50): 39.5

* - How well does his skill set carry over to the fantasy game? For running backs, a player needs to be a three-down option as well as a realistic threat for 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards to be a candidate for a perfect grade. Positional scarcity at the pro level is also a part of the equation.


  • Near elite contact balance for a mid-sized running back and runs with impressive power for a player who reportedly played under 210 pounds in college; runs as low to the ground as any prospect in this class.

  • Patient runner who not only has a great feel for when to accelerate, but also has the hip fluidity to evade defenders at every level; not extremely shifty, but he is elusive enough to leave a defender grabbing air on a jump cut.

  • While his actual speed is probably in the 4.5 range (about average for a running back), he possesses enough explosiveness to break off chunk runs consistently.

  • Receiving skills were likely very much underutilized in college; has the change-of-direction ability and hands (caught 28 of 32 career targets) to be a nightmare on option routes.

  • Recorded a mere 238 carries (and 266 total touches) in college and fumbled just once.


  • Suffered a torn ACL in November, which will likely affect how much he can realistically contribute in 2024. (Recent reports suggest he could be ready for training camp.)

  • Occasionally guilty of indecisiveness and stopping his feet in the backfield when running lanes are clogged.

  • Power is mostly limited to running through tacklers and not over them; did not convert in short yardage/goal line situations several times.

  • Possesses good but not great speed and can be caught from behind on big runs.

  • Rarely asked to pass block in college, recording only 59 reps in three seasons in college (51 in 2023), per Pro Football Focus.

Bottom Line

There are shades of Alvin Kamara in Brooks' game. Obviously, Brooks has work to do if he wants to enjoy similar NFL success, but it is easy to see the resemblance between the two. Both players are light on their feet, can make tacklers miss, are more physical than their size would indicate and show an incredible ability to stay on their feet despite contact. While he may lack the quickness Kamara had in his younger days, Brooks' ability to stay on his feet and drag tacklers while running up the gut may make him a slightly better bet to be a better inside runner than his veteran counterpart.

Brooks' ability to regain full confidence in his knee at some point during the 2024 season is probably his biggest question mark right now. There is some question as to what weight he played at in 2023, and it likely works against Brooks whatever the answer is. If he played at his reported 207 pounds, then his speed (and ability to break off big plays) will likely decrease if he plays at his current weight of 216. If he played at or around 216 pounds and intends to go back to 207, then there is room to question if he will lose some power. Brooks runs with enough power either way, but one of the few troubling things on his tape was converting in short-yardage and goal-line situations when he was met in the hole. Texas HC Steve Sarkisian's reluctance to use Brooks more often in the passing game is also somewhat puzzling and only serves to delay his ability to make a potential notable impact in the NFL right away. Not only did the Longhorns fail to utilize him as a receiver as often as they should have (13 of his 25 receptions in 2023 came in two games), but they also did him a disservice but not having him stay in to block more often to solidify that part of his game.

Much as is the case with most running backs entering the league, Brooks should not be expected to hit his stride until the middle of the season at his earliest - and that assumes he can participate in the bulk of training camp and the preseason. With that said, Brooks is a very good prospect who could easily emerge as a three-down weapon for an offense willing to embrace and sharpen his skill set. He may never become a featured back in the traditional sense, but a steady diet of games with 10-12 carries and five or so targets may be just the role that allows him to fulfill his promise. As a player who will be a "young" 21 years of age this season (birthday is July 21) and has plenty of untapped upside as a receiver, Brooks stands a great chance of being the best running back in this draft class if he finds a team willing to embrace his unique skill set.

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Doug Orth has written for FFToday since 2006 and been featured in USA TODAY's Fantasy Football Preview magazine since 2010. He is also a high-stakes player who often appears as a guest analyst on a number of national sports radio shows, such as Sirius XM’s “Fantasy Drive." Doug is also a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.

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