South Carolina football had had four players drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft. That became five as wide receiver Jalen Brooks was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the 7th round (Round 7, Pick 27; 244th Overall). Brooks followed cornerback Cam Smith, defensive tackle Zacch Pickens, corner Darius Rush, and interior offensive lineman Jovaughn Gwyn as 2023 NFL Draft selections.
Brooks transferred to South Carolina after spending the start of his career at Wingate University. The 6’2” receiver missed some time while in Columbia dealing with academics and other issues, but he is not viewed as a character concern.
Brooks struggled with drops at times during his career but showed solid physical tools and a relentless work ethic. He did not test well at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine, but his Pro Day testing and game film show a faster, more explosive player than the Combine numbers indicated. His work on short passes and end arounds showed what he could do with the ball in his hands after the catch.
Now with the Cowboys, Brooks steps into a receiver room that needs some help at the back end, but because of some solid starters, Brooks won’t be forced into action for which he isn’t ready. His special teams experience in college will certainly play a role in whether or not he can stick with the Cowboys. During his Gamecocks tenure, Brooks played on virtually every special teams unit and routinely made tackles on coverage teams, a trait certainly noticed by his new team.
Brooks will compete with several likely free agent signings at wide receiver as he is the only receiver picked by Dallas in the 2023 NFL Draft. Gamecock fans will have plenty of opportunities to watch Brooks if he makes the team as the Cowboys are on national television more than any other team in the NFL.