NFL Draft Prospect Spotlight: Greg Newsome II

Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II made a huge jump in play and has the entire NFL Draft and Las Vegas Raiders' attention.
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Of all the areas that the Las Vegas Raiders have addressed so far this offseason, the secondary is one that hasn’t received much attention.

Obviously, there is still plenty of time for the team to look at adding to it, and that includes the 2021 NFL Draft.

There could be multiple talents in the first round who the Raiders could look at, but there should be options on day two of the draft as well.

One of those could be Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II.

Newsome had proven to be fairly unremarkable in his first two seasons with the Wildcats.

He played in only 14 combined games due to injury, hadn’t recorded an interception and his best ranking from Pro Football Focus was 428th out of 618 eligible corners.

In 2020, Newsome did a complete 180 that has seen him rocket up draft boards.

While the sample size was limited to playing only 387 snaps last season, Newsome finished as PFF’s 20th ranked cornerback in 2020.

He recorded the first and only interception of his career and allowed only 12 catches for 93 yards on 34 targets for the season.

At 6-1 and 190 pounds, Newsome brings the physical qualities that teams now look for in corners.

He’s able to use his length to affect the catch point of the receiver, and usually never finds himself out of position.

That allowed Newsome to excel at playing the deep areas of the field, where he only allowed one catch on 15 targets of 10-plus yards last season.

He didn’t wow, though, with athletic plays on tape, and the nature of Northwestern’s zone-heavy defense saw Newsome be able to sit on a lot of routes, rather than play up on the receiver.

There’s also the concern that other than the limited snaps he played against Ohio State, Newsome didn’t go up against any other receivers who could be considered NFL caliber.

Newsome still showed massive improvement from where he had been before his junior season, and with his physical traits, he could get a lot of looks in the second and third rounds. 

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