Jonathon Brooks Scouting Report

  • Underdog ADP: 120.2 overall (RB37), rookie RB2

It is no small feat to fill the shoes of Bijan Robinson, but Jonathon Brooks did so admirably at the University of Texas last season. After minimal playing time in his first two seasons, Brooks exploded onto the scene with more than 1,400 scrimmage yards in just 10 games before his season was cut short due to injury.

A couple of months ago I wrote about Brooks as my favorite rookie RB prospect, and that is still the case today.

Despite a small sample size, his prospect profile has plenty to like. Before the injury that ended his 2023 campaign, Brooks had notched eight consecutive games with at least 98 yards rushing and averaged just over 20 carries per game.

He was quickly establishing himself as the top RB in college football before his season ended early. 


Rush Attempts

Rush Yards

Rec. Yards

Total TDs






Brooks is set to turn just 21 years old this summer and didn’t handle a huge workload in college, so the potential is there for him to be a productive NFL player through multiple contracts. I don’t want to put too much value on this longevity projection, but it is a much better situation than other prospects in this class who are multiple years older with way more carries under their belt.

Although he didn’t test at the NFL Combine (more on that below), he did weigh in at 216 lbs, which is up about 10 lbs from his listed playing weight in college. It’s hard to say whether the additional weight is muscle, but it would be great for his ability to handle a large workload in the NFL if he is able to bulk up a little bit from the player we saw in college.

Pros and Cons of Jonathon Brooks



Brooks was very good at evading tackles during his time at Texas. His career marks of 0.34 missed tackles forced per attempt and 4.1 yards after contact per attempt are very strong and among the best in this class. Although he doesn’t run with tremendous power, his footwork is top notch and allows him to set up defenders and keep his balance through contact.

During the 2023 season, Brooks ranked in the top 20 among all RBs for both missed tackles forced (63) and elusive rating (140.3), which backs up what I saw on film. To use an old scouting cliche, I would classify Brooks as “quicker than fast” as he shows good burst and lateral agility but was occasionally caught from behind on his breakaway runs. It would have been nice to see how he tested at the NFL Combine, but there aren’t any major red flags with his athleticism in my opinion. 

Jonathon Brooks

Nov 11, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; Texas Longhorns running back Jonathon Brooks (24) runs for the first down against TCU Horned Frogs in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell-USA TODAY Sports

For those worried about his long speed, I would agree that he doesn’t appear to be a true burner, but he also didn’t struggle to create big plays. Brooks had at least one run of 20+ yards in seven of his ten games in 2023 and also tacked on receptions of 73 and 37 yards during the season as well.

Plus pass catcher

Everything in Brooks’s profile comes with the small sample size warning, but he flashed real upside as a receiver last season. His season-long totals were very similar to what Bijan put up in the Texas offense the year before, but Brooks did it in two fewer games. 

Looking at just the 2023 season, Brooks’s 13.3 YAC per reception was tied for 11th best in the nation among RBs, which illustrates his playmaking ability with the ball in his hands. It also gives him the versatility to play multiple roles in an offense which can keep him on the field and accumulating fantasy points regardless of game script or situation. 

The only issue I have with Brooks’s pass-catching profile is that almost all of his targets came at or behind the line of scrimmage. The truly elite pass-catching RBs are capable of lining up out wide and getting targets down the field. Brooks may not reach that level of receiving back, but he can add meaningful fantasy points via screen passes and dump-offs at the next level.


Coming off injury

Brooks suffered a torn ACL on November 11th of last year, so he was unable to participate in the NFL Combine or Texas’s pro day. I don’t have many concerns about his athleticism, so the lack of testing isn’t a huge deal from that perspective, but I do get nervous that the injury/missed testing could cause him to slip a bit in the NFL Draft.

Draft capital is very important at the RB position, so if the injury causes him to fall on draft day I will be a little bit more wary about his path to fantasy stardom.

The good news is that reports indicate his injury was a clean ACL tear, which isn’t nearly as detrimental to future performance as multi-ligament knee injuries are. Given his age and this type of injury, it really wouldn’t be a surprise if Brooks doesn’t miss any real time to start the season. 

Lastly, in case you have been living under a rock (or just have healthier social media habits), you may have missed the fact that the surgeon who repaired Brooks’s knee is none other than the Dallas Cowboys’ team physician, Dr. Dan Cooper. While this doesn’t guarantee anything, it is worth noting that one of the best possible landing spots for a rookie RB is very familiar with Brooks’s injury and recovery timeline. 

Fantasy Football Outlook for Jonathon Brooks

Brooks is my favorite RB in this class and I think he should be the first back selected when the NFL Draft arrives. Assuming he goes fairly early on Day 2, it would be difficult for another RB to jump him in my rookie rankings.

The real question is where he should go in rookie drafts relative to this loaded WR class. In 1QB leagues, I view Brooks as a good pick in the later portion of the first round, in the pick 7-10 range.

For redraft and best ball, fantasy managers have to decide how much they want to penalize him coming off the injury. Trey Benson has moved ahead of Brooks on Underdog Fantasy which is understandable, but the discount is starting to get wider than I believe it should be. Benson is now going more than a full round before Brooks when I think they should be pretty close to even for 2024 value. 

The NFL Draft will go a long way to determining the value of rookie RBs for the 2024 season. I hope all the dot-connectors are right about the Cowboys taking Brooks in the draft as that would be an ideal landing spot for him to step in right away and deliver for fantasy managers. 

NFL prospect profile
Jonathan Fuller
Jonathan Fuller
Jonathan Fuller is an editor for Fantasy Life as well as a contributing writer for Spike Week. He is the type of person who drafts best ball teams in March and competes in a 96 team dynasty/devy league. He spends more time than he would care to admit listening to fantasy football podcasts and discussing strategy on Discord and Twitter. Outside of fantasy football Jonathan works in the wealth management industry and enjoys following the other football ⚽️ as well as spending quality time with his wife and their puppy.