3 intriguing offseason Carolina Panthers position battles in 2024

These battles will be worth monitoring closely.
Chuba Hubbard
Chuba Hubbard / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers RB congestion

  • Jonathon Brooks, Chuba Hubbard, and Miles Sanders.

A bit of a surprising pick in this year's draft was when the Carolina Panthers selected Texas running back Jonathon Brooks with their second-round pick. They even traded up to seal the deal at No. 46 overall.

Brooks, like Ja'Tavion Sanders, was among the best in his position group in this draft. Selecting him this high proves that head coach Dave Canales and company have a lot of faith in the young tailback. The former Longhorn is a do-it-all backfield threat whose talents provide burst, blocking, and balance to a running back room that already includes Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders.

However, Brooks is coming off of an ACL injury suffered in a game last season against TCU. Before he went down, the gifted back was cooking for 1,425 total yards and 11 scores in just 11 contests.

Hubbard is a talented player no doubt, leading the Panthers in rushing over the last three seasons. However, he hasn't quite become a bonafide RB1 in this league due to limited effectiveness in the passing game. Even though the former fourth-round pick has improved his game every year in his young career, he may serve best as a compliment in the backfield rather than as a lead option.

One would expect Hubbard to enter the season with the bulk of the rushing load, with Brooks spelling him occasionally and being utilized more so in the passing game until he's ready to assume the bulk of carries.

Sanders, on the other hand, seemed to have taken a step back last season and found himself relegated to reserve duty behind both Hubbard and sometimes Raheem Blackshear. The former Philadelphia Eagles standout signed a nice-sized contract last offseason and has failed to prove worthy of the signing.

With the addition of Rashaad Penny and the possibility that Brooks emerges as an elite player, Sanders may even find himself looking for a new team in the coming months.