Analyst makes bold prediction for Carolina Panthers RB Jonathon Brooks

The Carolina Panthers could have something special on their hands.
Jonathon Brooks
Jonathon Brooks / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Jonathon Brooks has been something of a forgotten man since being selected by the Carolina Panthers at No. 46 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft.

This has nothing to do with a bad transition or subpar production. It's down to his lack of participation in early offseason workouts as Brooks recovers from a torn ACL suffered during his final campaign with the Texas Longhorns.

Dave Canales provided an encouraging report surrounding Brooks following the team's mandatory minicamp. The head coach thinks he'll be able to get on the field at some stage during Carolina's upcoming training camp in Charlotte. However, it would be wise for those in power to err on the side of caution until he's 100 percent.

Once Brooks gets the all-clear, the Panthers can unleash him accordingly. Dan Morgan and others in positions of power felt he was the best running back in this draft class. They ignored other needs to trade up for the backfield weapon. This was a testament to their level of conviction in the player's chances at the next level.

Carolina Panthers RB Jonathon Brooks tipped for rookie superstardom

There is competition for places like never before in Carolina's running back room. But if Brooks shows no ill effects from the knee issue, he should become the No. 1 option quickly despite the presence of Chuba Hubbard.

Adam Rank from was bullish about Brooks' chances of making an instant impact. The analyst thought he'd become a fantasy football darling similar to Detroit Lions playmaker Jahmyr Gibbs in Year 1 of his professional career. That's a lofty bar for which to aim, but the talent is obvious.

"Think of him like this year's version of Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs. You're going to be tempted to drop him at some point early in the season. But don't do that. [Jonathon] Brooks will be brought along slowly following his November ACL injury. But dude was dealing for the Texas Longhorns before he went down, with 1,139 rushing yards and 10 rushing scores in his first 10 games of the season. That's some Christian McCaffrey-like stuff right there."

Adam Rank,

Asking Brooks to be an every-down back while he works his way back to full fitness is unfair. The Panthers have Hubbard, Miles Sanders, and others ready to pick up the slack. But if he's ready to go for camp, the chances of him suiting up in Week 1 at the New Orleans Saints are high barring any setbacks.

The Panthers saw something special in Brooks. They weren't alone, with the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys reportedly keen before Morgan acted with conviction to get his preferred guy to Carolina.

Canales plans to run the football heavily as part of his improved schematic concepts. This might limit Brooks' fantasy value initially, but the pendulum could shift over the second half of 2024 if everything goes according to plan.

Watching his progress throughout camp should provide a better indication of short-term objectives. If there are no bumps in the road and Brooks finds his football legs quickly, he'll be a major asset to an offense that went through untold complications during the previous campaign.

Expectations are growing around Brooks. And he hasn't even been on the field for a single NFL practice as yet.

That's a scary thought.