Panthers Finalize Offensive Foundation With Draft's First RB Selection

The Carolina Panthers stole the best running back in the draft from the Dallas Cowboys.
Jonathon Brooks averaged 6.2 yards per carry in his career at Texas
Jonathon Brooks averaged 6.2 yards per carry in his career at Texas / Ricardo Brazziell / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Panthers continued a busy first couple of days of the NFL Draft, completing their third trade of the first two rounds by moving up to select the first running back of the year,

Carolina originally traded back in the second round but quickly changed their minds, moving up to take Texas RB Jonathon Brooks to solidify an offensive core around 2023 first-round QB Bryce Young.

Brooks joins Xavier Legette as young playmakers taken by GM Dan Morgan, giving Young a bonafide group of dynamic weapons as he tries to lift the Panthers into playoff contention in a weak NFC South.

Panthers Trade Up For Texas RB Jonathon Brooks

Brooks tore his ACL but is expected to return in July, giving him plenty of time to grow acclimated to Carolina's offense and make a positive contribution.

He averaged 6.2 yards per carry for his career as a Longhorn, culminated with 187 rushes for 1,139 yards and 10 TDs in 11 games in 2023. While the Panthers already have Chubba Hubbard, Brooks projects as a long-term solution to an important position and is a slam-dunk pick given the needs for the offense.

When you have a young QB, surrounding him with playmaking talent is one of the surest ways to allow quick development. Morgan and new head coach Dave Canales hope to compete sooner than later, so solidifying the offense across the board is an excellent path to contention.

We'll see what comes of the rest of Carolina's draft picks, but this is a great start just two rounds into the 2024 draft.

More Carolina Panthers News: