Greg Newsome II - Cornerback, Northwestern
By the numbers:
6'1", 190 pounds.
2020: 12 tackles, seven passes broken up, one interception in six games played. AP All-American Third Team.
Greg Newsome II is a jack-of-all-trades cornerback who shined when on the field for Northwestern. He's quick and changes direction swiftly, showcasing smooth movements with fluidity in coverage. He can flip his hips or click-and-close at the drop of a hat. Newsome transitions from a backpedal to his turns with ease.
Scheme-diversity is a major plus with Newsome. He has experience in a variety of coverage shells (press-man, multiple zone looks) and was proficient in all of them in college. He's a long corner capable of playing on either side of the field. Newsome's aggressiveness is impressive considering his lanky frame, as he routinely plays the ball well and isn't afraid to tackle. A lack of turnover production is worth noting but isn't a concern given his ball skills and closing speed.
Newsome's aggression can come back to bite him at times. He has a proclivity for grabbing at receivers when he gets beat near the line of scrimmage. His long speed wasn't tested a ton, which may be why he's comfortable with taking penalties over long receptions at times. Newsome will have to be smarter and possibly bulk up a bit in order to continue thriving while playing a physical brand of football at the point of contact.
Durability is a major concern with Newsome. He suffered injuries every season at Northwestern and while none of them were considered major, he still missed significant time overall. His sample size isn't as large as some other cornerbacks in this year's class. Withstanding longer seasons and more physically-taxing play in the NFL is a tall task for a player who struggled to do so in college.
How Newsome fits with the Chiefs:
Should the Chiefs lose either or both of Bashaud Breeland orCharvarius Ward in free agency, adding a starting-caliber boundary cornerback makes sense. Newsome has all of the tools to be a good player at the next level and could probably start as a rookie. His proficiency in man coverage is a definite plus in Steve Spagnuolo's scheme. The idea of forming an elite young nucleus in Newsome, L'Jarius Sneed and Juan Thornhill is also enticing.
Newsome is a prospect with very few holes in his game. He's one of the more well-rounded cornerbacks in this year's draft, and for good reason. He's fluid, smart and is a little bit of muscle away from being the complete package NFL teams are looking for. His grabbiness will need to improve and staying healthy is a legitimate concern, which keeps him from being a first-round lock. Newsome grades out as an early second-round prospect who the Chiefs should consider if they're looking for a corner with a top-50 pick.