Carolina Panthers surge up for Jonathon Brooks draft stunner at No. 46

Dan Morgan moved up and down at will.
Jonathon Brooks
Jonathon Brooks / Sara Diggins/American-Statesman / USA

The Carolina Panthers couldn't resist getting involved in the chaos that became Day 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft. Fans who waited patiently until the end were rewarded when Dan Morgan moved up one spot to select wide receiver Xavier Legette at No. 32 overall. This was basically for the chance to trigger his fifth-year option if the situation dictates, which is way down the line but all part of the new general manager's long-term strategy.

Carolina didn't have to wait long on Day 2 to get themselves involved. They had the No. 39 overall selection, which was obtained following the difficult - and controversial - decision to trade stud edge rusher Brian Burns after all good faith between the player and the franchise became a distant memory.

Everyone knows about the offer Carolina turned down for Burns and what they received after all leverage evaporated. There's nothing Morgan can do about that, he just had to clean up the mess. There was one thing he could control - maximizing the value of this selection from the New York Giants to strengthen the Panthers' chances of progress in 2024 and beyond.

The temptation to trade out of the pick was there for all to see. Morgan wants to build through the draft and the best way to do that is as many selections as he can gather. As it turned, out, he went down from No. 39 and then right back up again to No. 46 after a flurry of trade activity.

Carolina Panthers draft Jonathon Brooks at No. 46

When it was all said and done, the Panthers settled on Jonathon Brooks, a dynamic running back who looks more than capable of slotting into Carolina's newfound ethos with Morgan and head coach Dave Canales leading the charge. No transition is easy, but he's got the experience and renowned professionalism to slot into the locker room seamlessly.

Brooks plays with an energy and enthusiasm that's hard not to love. Morgan's highlighted on countless occasions how he's looking for those who have dog mentalities moving forward. The Texas prospect seems to tick those boxes in no uncertain terms.

This provides Bryce Young with an outstanding outlet out of the backfield. His contact balance is first-class, matched by exceptional on-field vision and the ability to break off big gains at will. There are some injury concerns after an ACL tear, but those in power believed this was a risk worth taking in Canales' balanced offensive attack.

This is probably better than most fans thought Morgan could accomplish from Carolina's opening two selections. There is a lot of hard work ahead, but one couldn't accuse the front-office leader of not having a type when it comes to players and prospects. If Brooks got his seal of approval, that should be good enough for now.

Proving it on the practice field and when competitive action begins is the next challenge. One both Brooks and Legette are going to relish.